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Full text of "Year of the Spaniard"

■9s^»^" 



UNIVERSITY 
OF FLORIDA 
LIBRARIES 




COLLEGE LIBRARY 




01? 






Zke year 
of tke Spaniard 

by 
HENRY CASTOR 



Here is a roaring, lusty novel of the 
Spanish-American War that relates the 
adventures— sometimes funny, some- 
times grim— of two young men who 
had strenuous parts in that bloody, 
muddled, and exasperating event in our 
history. 

Caleb Hawkins, a handsome, unpre- 
dietable, self-assured law student, and 
Warren Spangler (of the Lancaster 
Spanglers), an able reporter on the 
Philadelphia Ledger, shared an interest 
in the social problems of the day— 
and in the beautiful Susan Brccht. 
When the Maine was suddenly sunk, 
the yellow journals howled for war; 
Caleb went as a soldier, Warren as a 
reporter. 

In Tampa they learned the ways 
of war riotously from the Army and 
also from such famous authorities as 
Stephen Crane, Richard Harding 
Davis, and Stephen Bonsai, all of 
whom came to watch the show. 

Henry Castor re-creates vividly the 
excitement, tensity, and drama of this 
frenetic period along with the people- 
both big and little— who played such 
an important part in it. 



Digitized by tine Internet Archive 
in 2013 



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THE YEAR 

OF THE SPANIARD 



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BOOKS BY HENRY CASTOR 
The Year ot the Spaniard 

The Spanglers 



(t^^ihe^^L^^^&^rii<:tJ^^ih^^^LJHhir^<L^^-ib^ 



THE YEAR 

OF THE SPANIARD 

a Novel of 1898 
by Henry Castor 



DOUBLEDAY & COMPANY, INC., GARDEN CITY, NEW YORK, I95O 



'SI 3.^ 



J 



The lines by Stephen Crane are reprinted from 
The Collected Poems of Stephen Crane, copyright, 
1895, 1899, 1922, 1926, by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 




COPYRIGHT, 1950, BY HENRY CASTOR 
A.LL RIGHTS RESERVED 

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES AT 

THE COUNTRY LIFE PRESS, GARDEN CITY, N. Y. 

FIRST EDITION 






TO ALL MOTHERS AND FATHERS 

oi my generation who may be 
amused at being spear carriers and 
off-stage voices in a "historical 
novel/' and especially to my own. 



AUTHOR'S NOTE 



In the jargon of the book trade a historical novel is one whose 
action occurs in a setting before those of period novels. In other 
words, there is a penumbra in fiction beyond which history becomes 
historical and "Time: The Past" becomes paster. 

This is a historical novel. Even though some real people still 
living walk through its pages, it is not a period novel. Real or 
fictional, few of these characters had seen a movie or wrecked an 
automobile, which to me makes them seem as historical as J. Caesar 
or five-cent beer. They used the words "manly" and "womanly" to 
describe quintessences of sex of which one could be proud, and they 
picked, fought, and settled a war during a summer vacation, and I 
think this is historical and maybe even historic. 

There is no bibliography, since a novelist is a kind of mounte- 
bank who hawks entertainment, not study courses. Footnotes and 
marginalia belong to the professional historian, who also has bread 
and honor to earn. If you want to know what's what, ask grandpa 
—he knows. Unless you are grandma, and know a sight better about 
things than he. 



cLii>^«^«r^ cL^^^^^j^ cLiP^^^r;>(l^^^^^<r;)CLi^^^ 



CONTENTS 



I Winter: Philadelphia 3 

II Spring: Tampa 77 

III Summer: Cuba 131 

IV Fall: Tampa and Philadelphia 223 



PARTI 



Winter; Philadelphia 



Phihddphians are every whit as mediocie as 
their neighboiSy hut they seldom encourage 
each other in mediociity by giving it a more 
agreeable name. 

—Agnes Repplier (1898) 



I 



ft 



He polished steam off his glasses. 

"rm not drunk/' Caleb Hawkins said aloud, "and this is the new 
year of grace 1898, but sure as Fm born there's a mailed knight 
down there collecting garbage!" 

He raised his grimy window, and a tawny gaslight leaked into his 
bedroom from the alley. Soot and snow-ice soiled his fingers. 

''Damn!" Caleb said, and wiped his hand on the bedspread be- 
fore removing his silk hat. Leaning out into the cold, he called, 
"Happy New Year, Sir Lancelot!" 

The man in the alley looked up suspiciously. His eyes were 
bleared and tufts of red hair stuck out under his helmet. 

"Same to you," the knight grunted. He lowered his heavy 
wooden tub, cupped his hands and blew into them. 

"I see you found the Grail," Caleb said. 

Lancelot looked sullenly about at the rows of alley windows, and 
shouted suddenly, "Pretty soft for youse! Slop-whoa/" 

The customary collection cry went unanswered. Shutters and 
panes stared indifferently at one another across the brick backs of 
Marble Terrace. 

"You sound as if you need a drink," Caleb said. 

"I don't need one, but I could use one." 

"The cellar door's probably open. My flat's on the left: Haw- 
kins." 



4 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

"Mister Hawkins," said Lancelot, "you're a sport." 

"If Guinevere's holding your horse, bring her along." 

When the knight clinked his tin plate into one of Caleb's chairs 
he gave the Philadelphia mummers' toast over a tumbler of rum. 

"Pork and plenty, mister! Say, v^ho's Guinevere?" 

"Death to missionaries!" his host responded. "A-ah-h-h . . . 
What did you say?" 

"Nobody has to hold Oscar; he hups when I hup, and stops on a 
ho. I asked, who's Guinevere?" 

"Sir knight, I suspect you've been in too many jousts. Too much 
falling on your conk has made you forgetful. Guinevere's your lady- 
love, man! She's married to King Arthur, of course, but we villeins 
expect gaiety of the aristocracy." 

"Like Prince Edward, huh? Well, tell me something. Mister 
Hawkins, how did you know I was this Lance-alot? That's what I 
was, but even when I told the guys down at the D.P.W. they still 
didn't catch the idea." 

"Easy," Caleb said. "Character shines through incognito. Here's 
looking up your record!" 

"How!" The Flower of All Knights drank, and shoved up a 
striped sweater which was drooping below his tuilles. "Gawd! Four 
months to wire this hardware together, and I din't even get my 
share of drinks out of it. New Year shooting's not what it use to be; 
people ain't as friendly no more. Gawd, the work me and Ellen put 
on this tin!" 

"Hooray, and an Ellen, too, Lily Maid of Astolat! Lancelot plays 
the field." 

The redhead worked it out for himself. "No, her name use to be 
Schwab, not Astolat. Dutch, you see, not Eye-talian. . . . Oh, I 
connect! You mean Lance-alot had an Ellen on the string too?" 

"An Elaine. Same difference." 

"Doggone! Ellen'll be tickled." 

Caleb bent to feel his throbbing feet. They had not recovered 
from Bea's heavy treadings at Saturday's dance. Slipping off his 
patent-leathers, he wiggled his toes and moaned. 

Lancelot clucked. "Sore puppies sure is hell." 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 5 

"I feel as though some cop had given me a hotfoot, for a fact." 

Bea Fairchild was as graceful as a cow, Caleb thought, and lisped 
besides. One of the drawbacks about knowing girls from your bib- 
and-pusher days, whose family names were good and old, was that 
you were expected to stay social with them even if some turned out 
leaden-footed like Bea or grew half as much beard as Dr. S. Weir 
Mitchell. In a community as old as Frankford, where the better 
people all were cousins, it was loose of a chap to make his own 
friends. Hadn't his ancestors already arranged the matter for him? 
Oh, joy! . . . 

He gaped wearily, nodding to Lancelot to help himself to the 
demijohn. . . . That New Year's soiree had been a confounded 
bore. Everywhere in the Philadelphia-that-counted you saw the 
same people, heard the same jokes, did the same things; it was a 
social puss-in-the-corner. The eggnog at the New Year, the horse 
shows in June, Nova Scotia or Cape May in summer, the Assembly 
dance in the fall— all were required, even if one's Quaker heritage 
did not entirely approve of all the rounds. 

To turn the dull knife, he'd had to hear his father and mother 
most of Sunday. 

"It is a pity thee has an independent income, Caleb," the old 
man had said. 'It has blinded thee to all sense of responsibility." 

''Must thee continue reading the law, my son?" his mother 
pleaded. "Do reconsider thy decision." 

"Never thee mind, Lydia," George Fox Hawkins had told his 
wife then. "Tomorrow he will race after something else. That is 
Caleb." 

They never stormed, because that wasn't like Quakers, but if 
doves pecked you to death, wouldn't you be just as dead as though 
a lion had ripped you? Fortunately Uncle Caleb's estate had be- 
come young Caleb's inheritance on the year of his majority, and it 
freed him. He'd taken the apartment on Marble Terrace to be inde- 
pendent of home and, when he had been graduated at the Univer- 
sity, had continued there. His law courses were symbols of his irri- 
tation with, and declaration of independence from, his family and 
their damned Wagon Works. It pleased him to shock them by an- 



6 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

nouncing for the law, when they deplored lawmongering as a 
principle of faith. But now— now the law school was ho-hum 
too. . . . 

Caleb glanced at his watch. Six-thirty. He stood up abruptly, but 
with trained litheness, and spoke almost courteously. 

''Come on, sir knight. Fve got to snatch sleep for classes today, 
and maybe youVe left the Grail too long. You don't mind?" 

''Nah. Thanks for the schnapps. Happy New Year." 

Ten minutes later Caleb was asleep. A wan sun peeped out at 
meridian, but later in the day lights had to be turned on while the 
city worked. The lights shone in the classrooms of the University 
Law School, too, but Caleb slept on beside his unwound alarm 
clock. It was a bore also. 

Susan finished her fried mush and watched her mother put the 
canary's bathtub into its cage. From the parlor a clock went ding 
and the bird said, ''Beep?" 

"Half-past six," Susan said, "and Gus hasn't come down yet. 
Maybe I'd better go see." 

Mrs. Brecht snorted. "Him and his Golden Slipper shooters! 
When a New Year's comes on a week end, don't they make extra of 
it, don't they just?" 

Susan smiled. Her lips were so naturally red that catty females at 
the Arsenal indicted her of the use of lipstick. Except for a very 
judicious dabble of powder, no woman dared use cosmetics but 
an actress— and anyone could tell what "actress" meant. 

"Gus is a well-behaved soul. Ma. Any man has a right to kick 
over the traces once a year, I'd say." 

"You've forgotten what happened after the soccer-cup play-off." 

Susan licked a finger and nodded. "Yes, he hoisted a load aboard 
then, too, but only because they beat the Kensington Thistles when 
they had no right to." 

"Well, let me tell you: alcohol's a pity— once, twice, or a hun- 
dred drunks a year. Lord, what it did to your father, poor soul. And 
Gus Kelley's not getting any younger, either." Mrs. Brecht cooed 
to the canary, "You wouldn't touch the rotten stuff, would you, 
Feteykins?" 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 7 

The bird whetted his bill on a cuttlebone and said, "Certainly 
not," if that was one of the meanings of "beep." 

"Of course not," Margaret Brecht said. "Susan, you bundle up 
good. It^s a morning that cuts through a person." 

Above them a door creaked, and they heard Gus start down- 
stairs. Midway he paused to cough and, when he had gotten his 
breath again, said, "Ai, yi, yij' When he pushed through the glass- 
bead curtains from parlor to dining room the women noticed that 
he had forced his face into an expression of brisk amiability, which 
rather emphasized what it was meant to conceal. 

"Happy New Year, Gus," Susan said. 

"Your mush's cold," Mrs. Brecht said. 

The man scratched his scrub of grizzled hair. "But no colder 
than the way you said that, I bet. Thanks, but I don't think I can 
wallop it down." 

Ma Brecht put her nose up and paraded into the kitchen. Her 
boarder looked morose. 

"Your ma's a woman of wonderful sniffs, Susie," he said. 

"She'll get over it." 

"Omeomy— well, Fm set whenever you are." 

"I'm going to have another cup of cocoa, to keep you company. 
How do you expect to hold out all morning without eating a little 
something?" 

Gus rubbed his belly and sighed. "Pigs' feet, pretzels, and beer— 
I had enough to last me a month. And me mouth tastes vulcanized 
too. It sure was some celebration. Had no casualties, neither— just 
the ornery social fist fights— except Ben Charles. He fell on his puss 
and rammed a tin horn down his gozzle. Did you see any of our 
doings?" 

"Nosiree! You shooters can have my share of pneumonia. I 
stayed in where it was snug, and read and rested." 

"My Gambrinus getup was a whooper, they tell me. Won an 
eggcup with it from the 23rd Ward Republican Club." 

As they put on their coats in the narrow hallway Gus tipped over 
a sansevieria plant. Its jardiniere broke. 

"Damnation! Now won't your ma have cat fits!" 



8 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

"Never mind, Gus," Susan said. "It wanted breaking. I was sick 
of it. Leave it lay." 

Her mother heard. If Ma had meant to sail into their boarder for 
being a blunderbuss, the look of her daughter quelled her. Instead 
she thrust an oiled paper bag at the man. 

"Here, you bull on skates. I fixed a little something for you for 
later. Put it in your pocket. Go on, Susan; I'll get the dustpan.'' 

"It's not that cussworthy flowerpot I'm ashamedest about, 
Susie," Gus said outside. "No, it was roaring in this morning 
whooping I could lick my weight in bartenders. Now your ma's 
acting like I was out with Nero or Oscar Wilde." 

He peeped at her sidelong, but she walked as if she had not 
heard. Orthodox Street was slushy, and the wind stung like the 
snap of a wet towel. Fat man and slim girl cowered inside their 
overcoats as they faced the northeast and toward the Arsenal. 

"I'm not what you'd call a drinking man, now am I? No, I'm not. 
Even if I was— and I'm not—what's wrong with drinking? Making 
alcohol is God's job, just like making rain. And, like the fella says, 
every thing to its place— water rusts pipes, scales up boilers, rots 
beams, but beer don't." 

Susan gave him a twinkle, so Gus was encouraged. Self-justifica- 
tion is much more fun with a sympathetic audience. 

"Be damn! Water is plain unsafe!" he rumbled. A passing lamp- 
lighter almost dropped his ladder and lamp stick. "Especially 
Philly's. It ain't fit even to launder me socks. Does whisky have 
bacilluses? Don't make me laugh!" 

The girl did not try. Gus lowered his declamatory voice. 

"Susie, that busted jardiniere put you in mind of hard times, 
didn't it? Well, they're past and gone, so lookit it this way. . . ." 

She wooled her thoughts as he chattered. Gus was— what was the 
word she'd looked up yesterday while reading Hugh Wynne?— 
"ebullient," that was it. Even hang-overs didn't slow Gus; death 
might, but would have a fight on its hands. Now, with herself any 
Monday morning was depressing, or streaked with restlessness. This 
Monday was worse because it began another uncertain year. What 
would 1898 bring for— for— oh, everybody? The thought made her 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 9 

feel sad-sweet, as the rustling of leaves did when she'd been out 
gathering nuts in the fall. . . . 

"I know you lived on potatoes, bread, and water when you 
painted jardinieres, and your ma was sick, but " 

"Just bread and water, Gus. The potatoes gave out before that." 

He could talk without replies generally. She was able to hide 
within herself while still having the shield of his company. Shyness 
was bad enough when a person wasn't sure of herself, but loneliness 
was terrible. 

When she and Ma had fled from Gramma's farm into the city, 
the terror of aloneness had been something Susan felt like a nausea. 
She had been thirteen and what Gramma had called "shamefully 
well developed." Gramma's charitable food and shelter was tyranny, 
unrelieved by anything after the death of Susan's father, a rather 
dear man who failed to accomplish much during his life except to 
keep distilleries running all night. Lacking him to despise. Gramma 
worked on his daughter until the day the brat struck her and left. 
. . . The ingrate! The rebel! If Gramma's own minister punished 
his children by running ice water down their naked backs, that 
should be good enough for her granddaughter! . . . 

Margaret Brecht had saved twenty dollars in a teapot, on which 
they had depended for their start in town. But when Ma came 
down with an anemic prostration, and had to drink vermouth and 
hot cow's blood on doctor's prescription, the twenty dollars went 
and Susan despaired. She had thought she might work in a library 
for their keep, and to extend an education which ended after gram- 
mar school, but no library seemed to be hiring shabby girls of thir- 
teen. Sweatshops were, however, so Susan got a job crimping paper 
flowers in a basement where unseen water always dripped, where 
the women stripped to their waists during the summer and stunk 
and cursed the year around, and wherefrom eventually Susan was 
fired. 

"Too slow, too slow you are! Six gross only a day. I pay you 
seventy-two cents— now get out!" 

Then began Susan's long walks in broken cloth-topped shoes, to 
save the important nickel of the trolley fare, to a succession of jobs. 



10 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

Knotting and burling tapestry, wrapping popcorn, selling crockery 
at two-and-a-half a week, painting jardinieres. She never forgot tak- 
ing thin air in a park for lunch, nor the numbness of fourteen 
hours' work a day, nor the landlady who sold her spare clothes, nor 
the pitying neighbors who had taken Susan and her mother in to 
share their own poverty. Nor the lice she picked up, the colds, the 
headaches, and the worry about a sick mother doing wash for a 
dollar a week. 

And always there was a hairy hand to roam a shamefully well- 
developed girl, and always there were hints how smart young ladies 
boosted their earnings on the side by a nice easy half dollar here 
and there. ... 

'Take like the Arsenal,'' Gus was saying. ''Women've worked 
there from 'way back past the War of the Rebellion, and . . ." 

"Yes, Gus. . . ." 

People made jokes about "the poor working girl, may Heaven 
protect her," but it was true, ugly true! Ten-twent'-thirt' pa- 
thetics did not amuse Susan when some young man splurged and 
took her to a music hall. She wept when they did not enrage her. 

Now, however, the Arsenal was much, much better. The army 
officers and foremen were decent, the work was clean, and her job 
paid a solid dollar and two cents for a day of only nine houirs. With 
budgeting, and the help of the two-bit hot lunches Ma was serving 
at home to Arsenal workers, Susan hoped to Get Somewhere. Why, 
for just two dollars a month, an ad said, you could get a college 
education by mail from Scran ton. . . . 

"I wonder," Susan said dreamily, "if I dare-st buy a set of Cham- 
bers' Encyclopedia on tick?" 

"Dodgast it, Susie, you never heard a word I said!" 

"Oh, forgive me, Gus— I was off a thousand miles." 

"Well, how about it?" 

"How about what?" 

"The rally tonight. The speaker's good— he's a big potato in our 
Henry George Club, and educated to beat the band." 

Susan tried not to offend her companion by showing doubt. It 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD ii 

was all wellangood for a man to be a Socialist if he couldn't help it, 
but to be seen in their company— was that ladylike? . . . 

"Well, Fd sort of promised Ma Fd " 

"Suit yourself," Gus said stiffly. "Sometimes I think this whole 
hurrah for woman suffrage is a waste of ginger. Durn if you pussies 
don't act like you could take it or leave it lay!" 

. . . On the other hand, the command of language of a good 
speaker might be instructive, irregardless of his ideas. . . . 

"All right, Gus, Fll go. But I can't stay late." 

"We'll skiddoo any time you want to." 

After all, Susan argued, one of the big advantages of being a 
Philadelphian was the educational tradition of the city. There were 
juntos, societies, and mutual-improvement groups for anyone inter- 
ested in advancing herself beyond the mere genteel mangling of 
words like "Cheusday." But was a Socialist rally for woman suffrage 
Cultural? Dearodear, it was so hard to say! 

His stomach peremptorily said that warmed-over coffee was not 
going to do, so Warren pushed aside the latest short story he had 
started. The action of the blamed yarn wouldn't jell anyhow, he 
muttered as he began to dress. If only Warren Meredith Spangler 
could shackle a tricky idea on his characters the way Frank Stock- 
ton could! Or Richard Harding Davis — there was a man for you. 
No wonder the Big Boss was proud of him; R.H.D. was not only 
his son and a hot New York reporter, but a crackerjack author be- 
sides. 

Warren's landlady rapped his door. "Half-past six, Mr. Spangler." 

"I'm alive, Mrs. Workman, thanks." 

He tried to write two mornings a week before hustling out to the 
Public Ledger, or to one of the district police stations which had 
been his beats. Warren Spangler had a working reporter's private 
vision of literary glory, but he never mentioned those two mornings 
a week to anybody. The boys in the station house or city room 
might begin asking whether he used grammar for a change at such 
times, or didn't he find that a quill pen invited smooth thou^t. ^Z 
The hdl with that! j^^u- Y/^^^'^T^if 






12 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

As he peeled off the heavy bathrobe his mother had made War- 
ren caught a gHmpse of himself in the cracked wall mirror and said, 
*'Howdy, you dashing thing, you." 

His father once had said, 'Tm glad you take after your mother 
for looks. Stretch. She was always a handsome critter, and it's pleas- 
ant for anyone to have their ears pasted on straight and to have 
steady eyes. Maybe you ought to have got her mouth, too, but the 
Lord gave you my trap and that habit of pushing it out when you're 
puzzled. Anyhoo, Fm glad you got my build— helped you make the 
crew, didn't it?" 

Warren thought of his father and smiled. Dad was the kind who 
took many things seriously, but seldom himself. And Mother was 
right for him, and for their kids. . . . Wasn't it lucky to be able to 
like your parents besides loving them? 

They didn't know his big news yet. Family correspondence went 
to pot when you wrote for a living. 

He tucked in his shirttails and picked up his pen again. 

Dear Folks [he scratched, while the gas log hissed in the quiet 
room]. Did you get my New Year's gieeting on time? I almost for- 
got, because I was excited. Friday the city editor called me in to say 
Fm being relieved of cop chasing, and for a while Fm to get general 
assignments with — hold tight!— a by-line on the good ones! FU send 
you the Erst clipping, you can bet. 

Fm tickled, and hope you are. After four years, this is my chance. 
There's nothing wrong with police reporting, and some men prefer 
it, but it got me down at times. Too many suicides and dead in- 
fants in West Philly ash cans— all the wretchedness of a city which 
the police have to ''police," in short. If I live to be a grandpa FU 
still wake up nights to hear orders to "Hop up to Swampoodle — 
mob of micks clubbing themselves silly over near Mount Peace,'' or, 
''Have a look at 182^ Vine— man on roof J' It was useful experience, 
hut not the High Life. 

Now Fm onward and upward, maybe to reach the heights of 
writing about corruption in City Hall. Maybe FU interview J. P. 
Morgan and other foreign dignitaries when they come to town, but 
Fd settle for Miss Ada Rehan (yow!). And Fm being raised to 
twentyEve hones a week, coin of the realm/ 1 am viewing my pros- 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 13 

peiity with reasonable calm, because I owe a couple oi rocks here 
and there which may take some paying hack. 

Joking aside, I am pioud. You never thought Fd make a news- 
paperman, and almost convinced me. Too ''schussUch,'' we agreed, 
and he stutters when he's excited or embarrassed— a dandy quaJiii- 
cationl But so iar JVe made the grade; a touch oi genius would 
have helped, hut my legs were long enough for the legwork. I had 
to keep whispering encouragement to myseli when the cracks in my 
bedroom ceiling spelled f-a-i-1-u-r-e. Last month I sat out in Inde- 
pendence Square ieeling so blue I couldnt trust my voice; Fd 
worked a week running down a story which the Desk cut to ten 
measly sticks of type. I wondered whether I hadnt better ask for a 
job carrying a hod on the Independence Hall project I was watch- 
ing — my body seemed to be muscle all the way, including the gap 
between the ears. 

Well, that's thirty for % the Grst letter of the alphabets How 
be all you? How's your rheumatiz. Dad? I wonder if those recon- 
centration camps down in Cuba are as bad as that Confederate bull 
pen you were in? 

Mother, the wrapper you gave me for Christmas is as warm as 
your love. I used it this morning when I got up early to write some 
of the junk Fm doing on my own hook. I destroy it all. When a 
man sets any writing out into print, he has invited criticism from 
all comers— it's like holding a vivisection on oneself in Snellenburg's 
Market Street window. I haven't felt equal to inviting that by sub- 
mitting my stories. They're hogwash. 

Give Beth and Our Frieda kisses for me. How is F's youngest? 
My landlady says scraped apple kept her children "regular" when 
they were babies. I wouldn't know about my dear niece, but the 
police horses I cajole with apples love them. 

Jim hasn't written in a long while. I wish he would scoot down 
here for a show and a visit — it isn't as if Reading were on the other 

side of the Pole, and grieving for his wife won't Excuse me, I 

don't know what Fm talking about. Moralizing over grief is cheap, 
and being his brother gives me no better right. 

Still love having his kids around the house. Mother? They cer- 
tainly do ''help £11 up the place," as you said, but don't you get 
jumpy? I love the Lord, but I sure got tired of His birthday when 
they tried out all those bugles and drums. Kiss the hoodlums for 
me, anyway. 



14 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

Now I must heat it. I can't afford to be late on the Erst day of my 
new dignity. They told me Friday I might go cover a suffrage meet- 
ing in Frankford tonight. That was a dull thud when the least Fd 
expected was to he set to investigating the citfs garbage contract, 
which has the characteristic odor you'd expect. But, who knows— 
something might happen. 



21 



The Socialist speaker on the rostrum struck a pose which re- 
minded Warren of Dr. Munyon on the patent-medicine posters 
saying, ''There is hope.'' The reporter squirmed unhappily on his 
hard chautauqua chair and again studied the faces about him. 

Here tonight were some of the loomtenders, ropewalkers, ship- 
workers, and toolmakers who were building Philadelphia into the 
first industrial city of the nation, but they looked tired rather than 
proud. Sober and worn they were, and Warren wondered how in 
thunder a hastily washed man who had been splitting hides all day, 
say, or a woman who carried a child at teat, could have gumption 
enough left to sit through this John-the-Baptist harangue. More 
workmen stayed away than came, of course, but Warren admired 
the stamina and sincerity of those who did come. In the babel of 
voices before the rally began he had heard half the accents of 
Europe as well as the flat catarrhals of Philadelphia. It reminded 
him of Jacob Riis, who was saying all America today was a melting 
pot, but Warren noted a line on his pad that the simmer had begun 
long ago in Philadelphia, free crucible that the Quakers had made 
it. 

Odd hairpins, the Quakers. They were so doggoned literal about 
the meaning of words like "freedom." They'd squeeze a dollar until 
Liberty's crown bent, but they disdained to swear that such-and- 
such or so-and-so was the truth. Truth was no Sunday necktie to be 
saved for formal occasions— no wonder the Lenape and Susque- 
hannocks had wept when the first leader of the straight talkers 
died across the waters. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 15 

Later, of course, dross scummed up the crucible, and the "greene 
countrie towne'' became more Hke the Babylon after which its 
founder had planned its squares, but still there were . . . 

''Excuse me, but your foot's on the pencil I dropped." 

"I beg pardon." 

Warren handed the girl in a tam-o'-shanter her pencil. Through 
his maundering a torrent of the orator's words flooded into his ears. 

"And I say most solemnly, comrades," the gaunt speaker said, 
measuring out dependent clauses as a sempstress would cloth, "that 
so long as women are forbidden the polls, the gore which ran red 
on Breed's Hill, which stained the ice of Valley Forge, which 
slicked the decks of the Constitution— yes, and that which some of 
you here tonight shed to cleanse our federal brotherhood of the 
crime of black bondage—so long as this denial persists, I say, these 
sacrifices of patriots have been a noble waste. Our sisters must not 
be refused what God gave free men! Is theirs any less a slavery be- 
cause " 

"What's God got to do with the washing and cooking?" a voice 
yelled. 

"Women in the home. Socialists in jail!" someone else called 
from the back. 

Warren craned to see who was shouting. There had been other 
interruptions during the meeting, but the men on the platform had 
ignored them. 

"Slavery still exists among us," the speaker went on, "an obscene 
foulness in a land devoted to a principle sacred to Christianity and 
democratic law: the equality of mankind before their Creator and 
their own judges. It is " 

"Your blabbermouth dirties God's name!" 

Something flew over Warren's head toward the platform, and a 
leaf of cabbage fell into his lap. The speaker dodged, gripped the 
edges of the lectern, and tried to continue. A hubbub rose, and the 
young woman next to Warren contributed a "gosh dam!" to it. A 
few burly members of the audience started back for the vegetable 
grenadier, including a grizzled fellow on the girl's left. 

"Gus, come back! You'll get hurt! Gus!" 



i6 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

Other women were trumpeting alarms too, for a fight had started 
at the doors. The hecklers were armed after a fashion: one laid 
about with what Warren at first thought was a heavy brush, and 
others swung short sticks. They seemed to have broken in, most of 
them, from the outer hall; as far as Warren could see, the invasion 
looked planned. Many of the invaders plainly were citizens bent on 
halting un-American nonsense, but a few looked as savage as their 
knuckle-dusters. Toughs, Warren muttered. . . . Funny how alli- 
ances against reform so often brought under the same banner 
the merchant and the crook together. And the city authorities 
wouldn't prosecute too vigorously this time, either, for roughing up 
a meeting of radicals hardly came under a breach of the peace. . . . 

The hoodlum with the brush flung it overhand toward the ros- 
trum. 

''Well, rU be damned!" Warren said aloud. 'It's no mop; it's a 
dead cat!" 

He felt a tug at his trouser leg and looked down from his chair. 

'Tm scared," said the girl in the tam-o'-shanter. "Those goldam 
bullies!" 

Warren smiled. She did not look too frightened, for her black 
eyes had depth and heat. He liked her looks: a clear skin, full red 
mouth, and, although she was not big, her gray cheviot jacket was 
tailored well by the body within it. She sat up straight as a baton, 
too. 

"Don't be scared," he said. "Our team probably will throw those 

lunks Pee-ou/ Speaking of throwing, somebody fired a stink 

bomb! C-come on, let's scat." 

He took her hand and pulled her to the side aisle. On the plat- 
form, he noticed, the speaker was herding a group of committee- 
women toward the wings. 

"Up front!" Warren whispered. "There's p-probably a st-stairs 
behind the stage." 

The girl tugged at his hand. "Yes, but we ought to help Gus! I 
mustn't leave without Gus!" 

"He oughtn't have left you," Warren said, bundling her along. 

The crowd in the aisle wanted to push the other way, however. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 17 

Wanen had an inspiration; leaning down to the ear of a one-eyed 
workman who was arming himself with a spittoon, he breathed an 
anxiety. 

"Is that so?" said the man. ''Hey, Ferd! Let's give this couple a 
hand." 

With convoy, Warren and his puzzled responsibility reached the 
door to the stage quickly. The one-eyed man called through it: 

"Open up inside! This is Bob Sample. We got a woman out here 
who's going to have a baby!" 

Warren felt a poke in his ribs. "Did you tell them that?" 

"Sssh!" 

"Don't shush me! Did you?" 

"You will have babies— s-someday, won't you?" 

"Here you are," the thin orator said, beckoning hurriedly through 
a partly opened door. "Quick! Madam, if you and your husband 
want to try it, there's a fire escape second door down on your right. 
Or stay with us. But for God's sake next time remember your 
condition!" 

"But I don't " 

"Thanks, mister. Thank you, boys," Warren said loudly. "Come, 
dear." 

Some distance down the dim corridor he relaxed his grip, and she 
twisted from his grasp. Quite smartly, also, she kicked him in the 
shins. 

"Ow!" 

"Let that be a lesson to you. Mister Fixit!" she said, and walked 
to the fire-escape window to tug at the sash. 

"You're pretty rough," he said. "Here— w-windows w-will open 
better when they're unlocked. Al-l-low me." 

"My goodness, but you're almighty fresh!" 

"Scold me by name. It's W- Warren Spangler. What's yours?" 

"Smarty!" 

"That's a pretty name," he said. 

The window opened with a cracking of wood. A frigid breeze cut 
through the smell of coal gas and perspiration in the hall, danced 



i8 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

with the fishtail flame in the red bowl over the escape window, and 
brought the clang of a bell. 

"There comes the Maria and the riot squad/' Warren said, clam- 
bering out onto the rusty platform. *'This way we save time and 
foolish questions. Give me your hand— the steps are icy." 

She drew back. "I can't leave without Gus." 

"Hell. Pleased to have met you. . . ." 

"Wait! Wait for me!" 

"Take it easy. The steps are slippery." 

"You turn your head— Fm coming over the sill myself! Now. 
. . . O-o^pr 

He caught her by blocking the steps, and she kicked him in the 
shin again, this time without malice. 

"We'll never make it standing up," she wailed. 

"Fll never make it anywhere if you succeed in crippling me." 

"Oh, Fm sorry. I should thank you, I guess, Mr.— Mr. ^" 

"Spangler. And Fm sorry I told them we were married. N-no, I 
m-mean " 

"Fudge! My name is Susan Brecht, Mr. Spangler." 

"Howdydo. . . . Now what are you up to?" 

"You turn your head! Don't look back!" 

When he slipped again, saving himself by a snatch at the rail 
which set his vertebrae clacking, Warren also decided to be humble 
and imitate the girl. He sat down and began to descend, bump by 
bump. 

Before they reached the alley they were giggling. The laughter 
started furtively, was choked back by Susan and mixed with coarse 
mutters on Warren's part, but it grew unashamed. Long afterward 
Warren said, "Philosophers may know why the human backside 
and its functions are subjects for low comedy, but I began to know 
a woman while we were inching down a frozen fire escape on our 
behinds and laughing like hyenas!" 

The alley smelled of laundry suds, garbage, and cats, and once 
the couple stood firm on its cobbles their fits ended in a sort of 
companionable embarrassment. But if their seats were chilly, an- 
other kind of ice had been broken, for when Susan said, "Ou-u-u!" 
and wriggled, they burst out again. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 19 

She found her handkerchief and blew her nose daintily. "Dearo- 
dear, it really isn't funny, but very undignified." 

''Never mind figuring it out now. I'll see you home before we 
both catch class-A colds." 

"I live near by. My mother can brew some tea while we dry out." 

A pot-helmeted policeman stood at the alley's end, but Warren 
knew him. They exchanged surprised greetings over seeing each 
other in this section of the "goats," and the patrolman saluted 
Susan when she passed him. She suddenly realized she never had 
been saluted by a cop in her life, and said so. 

Warren chuckled. "Officer Schwartz always likes to have his 
name in my paper. He was on the Tenth and Buttonwood force 
when I knew him." 

"Oh, are you a newspaper writer?" 

The way she said it made it sound like, "Are you Sir Thomas 
Lipton?" and Warren was flattered. . . . Oh, to be sure, a lot of 
reporters still were booze fighters and illiterates— they were brothers 
to the dumb cop who had to drag a bum to York Street to arrest 
him, because the flatfoot could not spell Susquehanna Avenue. But 
men like Richard Harding Davis were forcing the world to change 
its opinion. . . . 

Ma Brecht clucked when she heard of their experiences and 
made tea while they changed their clothes. At her insistence War- 
ren found a pair of big-bellied trousers in Gus's room, and when he 
reappeared downstairs, holding them up with both hands, the 
women tittered. 

"He looks like Lew Fields in Joe Weber's pants, doesn't he. 
Ma?" Susan said, and quickly blushed for having said p-a-n-t-s. 

Margaret noticed a skinned shin above one high-water cuff and 
said, "My! Whatever did you do to yourself, Mr. Spangler?" 

"Why, your daugh Oh, nothing much. I scraped it. I've got 

the kind of long legs that tempt accidents." 

Margaret went off for the witch hazel, murmuring about what a 
fine to-do this was, tsk-tsk. Her daughter said, "Thank you, Mr. 
Spangler. You are gallant." 

He laughed. Susan realized then that he was quite good-looking, 



20 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

and was surprised she had not seen that before; but, of course, 
there'd been a lot of hurrah and distractions. 

''Will you call me Warren?" 

"Certainly not. I don't know you well enough." 

"But 'm-mister' is for directors of the Girard Trust. It's a plug-hat 
word." 

"A girl can't call a gentleman by his given name the first time 
they meet." 

"I'm not a gentleman, so why not?" 

"Because." 

"Quod erat demonstrandum. Bingo." 

The street door slammed and a wild man pelted into the room. 
Warren rose defensively before he recognized the gray-haired man 
he had seen with Susan an hour before. 

"Where did you get to, Susie? Who's this?" 

August Kelley had gone to the rally as sedately as his pJatt- 
deutsch mother might have, but returned looking like his father 
once looked after a hurling match with County Tyrone. The seat of 
his pants was out, his right eye was closing, and a knuckle must 
have hurt, for he massaged it tenderly. Margaret Brecht, coming 
back with the court plaster and liniment for Warren, took one look 
and gasped. 

"Susan, help the cripples. I'll put on more tea and get some 
hamburger. We'll see if it helps a dotted eye— what do we care how 
much it costs?" 

"The look I got," Gus said when the older woman had bustled 
out, "reminds me of when I first tasted asafetida." 

Susan murmured some hypocrisy about being unable to stomach 
the task of patching up Warren's leg— what, touch a man's limb, 
when you must not use his first name promiscuously?— so he talked 
with Gus while he dabbed witch hazel. Susan backed against the 
fire to watch him, thinking what a shame it was to meet a young 
man so romantically and then probably never see him again. The 
young man himself was baiting Gus about the theme of the eve- 
ning. 

"Man I interviewed the other day said that giving women votes 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 21 

to help run the country would be as dumb as rigging a ship with 
silk. Their moral influence would get contaminated by civic duties, 
and " 

Gus exploded. "Moral infloonce, my elbow! Women are human 
beans like men, no more and no less! This poopy talk that goes on 
about women gives me the pip. That stuffed shirt you talked to is 
loony. Women ain^t full of grace just because they're female; the 
Lord made more bedbugs of both sexes than ever He did larks!" 

"You mind your tongue/' Susan said. 

"See? They don't care so much what you say as how you say it. 
That's moral infloonce for you— if something's right but not pretty, 
it's wrong!" 

Gus would have continued his palaver, but the young people had 
turned their attention away. Not much more remained for an aging 
man to do except to say good night, so he said it. . . . The hour 
was getting on, he was tired, and— ach du liehei, with the look 
Susie was giving this young feller you could take the damp off an 
armory. . . . 

A half hour later Warren took the Fifth Street trolley southward, 
feeling the night had been agreeable. The story of the riot was 
nothing, and when he got to the Ledger ofEce his account of it ran 
only two paragraphs. The city editor would spot it somewhere be- 
tween "Mangled Body Found On B. & O. Tracks" and "D.P.W. 
Buys Five New Rotary Brooms," if he used it at all. Warren 
yawned, turned in his copy, and trudged home— home! my God!— 
to Mrs. Workman's boardinghouse. In the stillness of his fusty 
room he began to write another report of the evening. 

"Dear Folks," it went, "Tonight I met a girl who kicked me in 
the shins. ..." 



m 



"Brickadelphia," people called it in 1898. Penn's "greene countrie 
towne" never had known a holocaust, back from the early days when 
it was the largest Empire city outside London. Ancient brick lasts a 



22 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

long time, and in later days tubercular homunculi still were to 
inhabit tenements of colonial years and share courtyard pumps and 
privies with rats which are as indifferent to the heroic past as the 
renters are. 

Yet it was not the tenement which meant Brickadelphia to 
Susan Brecht; it was rather the one-family shoe box, row on row 
along the streets. Infinities of identical sandstone and marble steps, 
foot scrapers, and white china doorknobs. Ma Brecht knelt every 
Saturday to scrub her steps and polish her doorknob, swapping 
amicable slander with neighbors similarly occupied. Some of the 
shoe boxes were crowned with false tin cornices, some had "busy- 
bodies"— three-way mirrors to look down into the street unseen—- 
others had flagpoles. Such features were reference points, but Gus 
Kelley once gave a woman two houses down from the Brechts' 
quite a flutter by mistaking her place for his own— his landlady had 
that day rearranged her window plants without advance waming. 

The gas lamps Warren knew, spiked like uhlan helmets, throw 
lemon light even today among the ranked shoe boxes. Hucksters up 
from Jersey still hawk through the skinny back alleys, as do scissors 
grinders and umbrella menders. The Negro women who sold pepper 
pot from tubs they balanced on their heads have gone, but trash 
still is collected in horse-drawn dumpcarts patented by a Quaker, 
Tom Castor, back in 1852. 

"That peppry pot must be as full of these here newfangled 
bacilluses as Bowser is of fleas," Margaret used to say, "but those 
poor black souls got to earn a living." 

Mrs. Brecht's implied apathy toward the cause of public health— 
or the public anything— was shared by a million and a quarter more 
Brotherly Lovers. With implacable tolerance they even refused to 
be troubled by corrupt government, or the ghastly "French Renais- 
sance" City Hall which housed one branch of it. Clarke Davis of 
the Ledger might write editorials urging all to awake to their peril, 
but who reads editorials when he can turn to "eight pages of ex- 
cruciatingly funny colored comics"? 

It was a neighborhood city, Gus told Warren. "Maybe a few 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 23 

squares away our Philly continues, but we don't really think so. 
Once you could pick a pocket in Louse Harbor, which was above 
Lehigh and west of Second, and escape the coppers by dusting 'way 
out west to Goosetown. 'Way out west— to Twentieth and Cam- 
bria! Philly's just the sum of villages like Manayunk, Spring Garden, 
and the Northern Liberties, and such buzzard's glories. We don't 
give a nickel for what other burgs call Progress, and we're proud 
Ben Franklin was bom here and made the best mayor a town ever 
had—which are about the only two things Ben didn't manage to 
accomplish. We got the Liberty Bell to look at and ice cream to 
eat— hell, man, we even got bustle, if only in Bustleton up on the 
Pennypack!" 

By the time in late January when the battleship Maine was sent 
to display its friendly ten-inch batteries to the city of Havana, 
Warren and Susan had become, as Ma put it, "pretty thick." To- 
gether they went to see "refined, high-class vaudeville," and 
watched the Hancock A. A. beat Wilmington in a "fiercely con- 
tested" basketball game, 17-4. Sousa's band came and went while 
Warren was broke, but they did hear an inexpensive lecture on 
Napolegn by the "young French scholar," Hilaire Belloc. Susan 
asked her escort to criticize the notes she made on it, and crowed 
when she proved he couldn't spell "fiery." 

Warren was amused by the young lady's thirst for culture, so he 
brought her books from Leary's which they often hotly discussed. 
^'Hall Caine? Marie Corelfi?" Warren snorted. "Pap ladlers!" 
^*They write elevating books," Susan said. "Not like your Maggie 
—you and your 'stark realism'!" 

Warren sighed. "If only I could write like Stephen Crane. He 
v^ites what he sees— not what languid females want for hammock 
reading." 

"Now you look here!" Susap snapped. "I know how brutal the 
world can be, but do. I have to read about it too? I should smile! 
Give me sornething uplifting any day, a book about refined people 
doing nice things. The world's full enough of nastiness, thank 
you!" 



24 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

Warren did not know then that the best defense against a 
woman was a good sharp "Yes'm/' He was young; he argued. 

"That very condition of nastiness makes it your responsibihty to 
read and to think about it, Susie." 

"Go 'way back and sit down, Mister Know-it-all! Vileness is vile- 
ness. 'Responsibility/ pooh!'* 

"Doggone, am I vile because I like realism, and the ladies' maga- 
zines good because they reject it?" 

"Let's not be personal," she said. "But— no, you're not vile. Just 
sappy." 

"Huh. Well, there are yet a few like me in Israel. Our judgments 
won't be measured in terms of Robert Hichens and Louisa Alcott. 
How in the name of Moses can a writer of even fair eyesight and 
moderate honesty substitute prettiness for ugliness when it's 
wrong?" 

"You'll change your mind when you're a father. You'll want to 
protect the kiddies." 

"Look, Susie— I've got nothing against children reading the 
F-Froggy F-Fairy Books, but I'll be d-damned if I want to be re- 
stricted to sweetness and light just to keep the little s-savages pure! 
Only sick adults eat Mellin's Food!" 

Susan rebuked him serenely. "My kiddies will get their mouths 
washed out with soap for saying d-a-m-n, too." 

However, she was stirred more than she cared to admit by his 
sincerity. The very fact that she believed he was sincere might have 
indicated to her that she was troubled by the patness of her replies. 
But Susan did not re-examine her cant; believing that she believed 
the hypocrisies of her time gave her a feeling of belonging. . . . 
For goodnessake! Why wear a corset if it doesn't have whale- 
bone? . . . 

Warren called on her, for his part, not as a Svengali, but because 
she was warm and lively and pleasant to look at. He never men- 
tioned love to her, because he did not know that the reasons which 
impelled him to keep coming were sufficient. If he had known he 
was in love he would have spoken, for Warren was forthright. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 25 

Susan was confused about her own feelings, toward him as toward 
nearly everything; Warren just did not tingle as yet. 

When she was too tired or he was too broke to go out of an eve- 
ning, Warren would bring a pie from Acker's or fried oysters from 
the Reading Terminal, which they ate while the fire popped in the 
grate. Friends of Susan's often broke in, since what she called 
"Their Crowd" never permitted a girl privacy with a beau if her 
jolly companions knew he was calling. Warren thought the formula 
idiotic, but Susan organized the intrusions into taffy pulls, charades, 
or what-the-Harry. 

On other occasions Warren's duties kept him away. She did not 
see him for three days before he called to take her to the Univer- 
sity's Ivy Ball, because he had conceived, hunted down, and written 
his first special article. He was elated when he waved the paper at 
her that night. 

''Here it is! I knew it had news value— even Old Picklepuss liked 
it! He's going to punch for editorial follow-up, too." 

It was about birds on hats, Susan saw. He had spent two days in 
Rittenhouse Square observing and counting; the idea surprised her, 
for Susan never had thought of hat trimming in terms of living 
birds any more than of a pot roast as having been some calf's 
mother. 

*'How did you learn enough about birds to do this?" she asked. 

''Walks with my dad when I was a kid, mostly. . . . Talk about 
immorality— the beggars who make women's hats don't only use 
egret and ostrich, but, so help me, I saw quail, wrens, and robins! 
Hundreds of them! My God, wr-wrens and r-robins!" 

She looked at him with affectionate condescension. He raved so 
at the darnedest things, but she made him feel she was proud. 

"Golly, what women won't do to primp, and what men won't do 
to chisel a dollar out of it. Oh well . . . That's a pretty dress you 
have on. You make it?" 

"Yes, and Ma." She pirouetted, and the purple tulle whispered 
lightly. "I'm glad you like it. Only " 

"What?" 



26 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

''Never mind. . . . IVe never traveled with the smart set before, 
Warren. I can hardly believe Fm going to the Ivy Ball!" 

The silk goods had cost more than a week's pay, and lacked 
proper decoration even so. Ma's jet beads were out of style, and 
Susan refused to dip into the teapot bank to buy lace or a frilly fan. 
But, praise the Lord, at least no one would know that underneath 
she had to wear a muslin chemise. Not even a decent handmade, 
but a nasty ready-to-wear that Wanamakefs said couldn't be told 
from the real thing. But we know, don't we, Susan? And your per- 
fume is just that old Ed. Pinaud's violet cologne. Darn it all! . . . 

''Are we ready?" she asked. 

He swept his hat toward the door. "The pumpkin coach awaits, 
milady. I hired a hack." 

"You didn't!" 

"We can't ride the trolley in these getups. Jack Fineberg's soup- 
and-fish deserves the best," Warren said, caressing his rented suit. 
"Anyhow, the skate pulling the carriage looks as though he might 
change back to a rat at the witching hour. Let's go!" 

Horticultural Hall turned Susan's knees to water. 

"Oh, Warren, the flowers! The people! They're gorgeous!" 

Her lashes shone with tears for the loveliness of the humming 
assembly under the great glass dome. Warren wondered if he dared 
write the story as if seen through the entranced eyes of a Susan, but 
the thought faded when it was drenched with a vision of the city 
editor's blue pencil and sarcasms. After all, this was only a college 
prom held in an old Centennial building, and the graces and dress 
of the young dancers were as hothouse-forced as the azaleas. It was 
one of the last places east of Pittsburgh he'd have picked to spend 
an evening, but the Ledger covered University doings, and Warren 
M. Spangler, Wharton '93 Damn! there went a shirt stud! . . . 

"Greetings," a voice said. "How rocks the world with brother 
Spangler? You poor dear," it went on to Susan, "he must have 
chloroformed you to get your consent to come with him." 

Warren said, "Susan, this is Caleb Hawkins, and he never was 
good for a thing except to throw fumiture out windows during row- 
bottoms at Penn. The lady, Caleb, is Susan Brecht." 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 27 

''Stretch is unkind, Miss Brecht. He still treats me like his lower- 
classman Little Brother. He dances badly, too— may I give you an 
opportunity to compare?" 

Susan rather liked Mr. Hawkins. He was— oh— well-bred-fresh. 

"Fve got to count the house," Warren said, and gestured to go 
ahead, dance with the man if she wanted. 

Caleb was a funny name, Susan thought, smiling brightly as he 
waltzed her out onto the floor. But he wasn't funny-looking; not 
with those close-lying brown curls and a profile like a Roman bust. 
It was a pity he wore spectacles and wasn't taller, but then maybe 
Warren was too eagle-eyed and too darn big. He waltzed beauti- 
fully, better than she, and certainly better than Warren. If Susan 
disliked any one thing about Caleb, it was the saying he was better; 
bragging jokes were not comical. Still, he was a very agreeable 
gentleman. He reminded her of a lieutenant at the Arsenal last year 
who had broken the hearts of Ella Tinker, Kate Schermerhorn, and 
Billie Williams before going on to marry a rich widow with heart 
trouble already. 

By the end of "Birth of a Rose," three-quarter time, they had ex- 
changed the scraps of personalities strangers do when they dance. 
Susan learned that Caleb was in second-year law at the University,, 
that Josie De Mott— the famous equestrienne— had taught him to 
ride when he was four, that he had tried to run away with the 
Lewando Circus at eleven, that he boxed enthusiastically, and that 
his parents disliked all of it. 

In return, Caleb found that she was not pledged to Stretch,, 
ohdearno. 

The advantage of the exchange was with Caleb, for with neither 
malice nor scruple he collected young women as some young 
women collected stationery monograms. During his university years 
his rooms at Marble Terrace had become laboratory and specimen 
cabinet, where he experimented with the science of the midnight 
chafing dish and the elaboration of the postulate that the human 
female is weak and willing. When he tired he dismissed his part- 
ners without causing them to hate him more than he desired they 
should. 



28 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

"Stretch really is a fine fellow," he said, leading his dance partner 
to a wicker chair under some potted palms. "He worried about me 
at Penn, because the laws and prophets of Epsilon declared a senior 
brother should. I was his freshman protege." 

'Tm sure Warren would," Susan said. 

He was estimating her, she thought. For what, she pretended not 
to know, but she was intrigued by the surge of her own female 
animalness. The new tulle dress, the poinsettias, the music, and the 
attentions of two college graduates undid her moral corsets, and she 
felt almost daring enough to say a good word for the poetry of 
Algernon Charles Swinburne. 

''Shall we?" he asked when the music began again. 

''I wouldn't feel right about Warren." 

"Aroint, Spangler!" he said, snapping his fingers. "It would serve 
him right if you disappeared." 

She laughed shakily. "But you must have your ovm— er— lady?" 

"I came alone after the opera, just to look in. I did not intend to 
stay." 

How significant he made "intend" sound! "Oh," she said. 

"Let me get you some punch," he said. "If s bound to be harm- 
less, unfortunately." 

When he left she thought of Warren's jollity about a pumpkin 
coach. . . . Well, it was long past midnight now, and she still 
danced in the palace. Her slippers stayed glass, and two princes 
waited on her, if you could count Warren, wherever he was. . . . 
Her thought amused her into forgetting she wore muslin unmen- 
tionables. 

Warren came back with Caleb. He looked disturbed, and Susan 
started guiltily, believing for an instant he had read her mind. 

"Hello," he said. "Fm sorry I was kept so long." 

He did not smile, so she said, "Is anything v^ong?" 

"Nothing to concern you." He struck a fist into his palm. "My 
brother is in some kind of trouble. They ran a messenger up from 
the office with a telegram from my father." 

Caleb held the watery punch patiently. "I wish I could help," he 
said. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 29 

Despite her concern for Warren, Susan could not help thinking 
that beside the poised Mr. Hawkins he looked like a brewery truck 
horse. His shirt front bulged, his tie had slipped off center, and a 
lank lick of black hair hung over one eye. He cracked his knuckles 
and said, "Hmmm.'' Caleb, inches shorter and pounds lighter, 
somehow looked dominant as a poplar at sky line. 

The big man hitched his shoulders and shot his cuffs. "J™ has 
disappeared. Dad says. One of the clerks in Jim's hotel said he 
hadn't been around for three days. Dad's twice as upset as he might 
be, because he's stiffened up with some recurrent rheumatism, so 
he's asked me to go to Reading to see what's doing." 

''Oh dear," Susan said. *ls Jim the one who lost his wife?" 

Warren nodded. "And he's my only brother," he said, as if that 
explained all. "Susie, I hate to ask it, but may I take you home 
now? I'll have to catch a train, and " 

"May I make a suggestion?" Caleb said. "I'm disengaged— really 
—and I'll be happy to assume responsibility for Miss Brecht. You 
can go directly to the station from here." 

"Gee," Warren said. He looked at Susan. 

She squeezed up her face urgently and nodded. She thought 
how curious it was that a mischance was her opportunity, and 
faintly despised herself too. ... 

"That relieves me," Warren said. "Susan knows where the car- 
riage is. When you can, please send it back to the livery at Twelfth 
and Sansom, Caleb. I don't know how to thank you." 

"No, no. The good fortune seems to be all mine." 

Elsewhere that night, mischance happened which also was to 
affect them. The night was warm in Havana, and the bay quiet. 
On shipboard Captain Sigsbee "remembered hearing distinctly the 
echoes of the bugle at tattoo, which were very pleasant." He was 
writing to his wife in the port cabin and the chronometer showed 
nine-forty— when the table leaped under his hands ... A blood- 
smeared marine dutifully reported an explosion as the captain 
struggled for'ard over debris and the dying. 

In the time it takes to boil an egg, five out of seven of the coal 



30 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

passers and topside men of Sigsbee's crew had found shallow bot- 
tom with their ship. At home the disaster was reported by the first 
banner headlines a stunned public ever had seen, the price of 
national flags boomed, and "Remember the Maine/" became fight- 
ing words. 



JV 



The Philadelphia Council declared that the city's flags should be 
half-masted out of respect to the Maine dead and passed then to 
other business. All vehicles which moved faster than a walk were 
ordered to carry lights hereafter. There was discussion of the grow- 
ing perils of urban life: more card games seemed to end in throat- 
cutting, more trains hit milk wagons—persons with umbrellas even 
got electrocuted by low arc lights. 

However, the risks assumed by young ladies who took up with 
merry law students were no concern of Council. . . . Within 
hours after Caleb had escorted Susan home from the ball he sent 
a note to Frankford: 

Mrs. FisJce is phying Tess of the D'Urbervilles at the Park, and 
we are planning a party to see hei Friday next. Will you honor our 
company? Give the messenger a favorable answer, pJease. The 
hunch will meet at Hoffman's ior something light before the show, 
and we'll take dinner somewhere afterward. 

Margaret Brecht commented, '' 'Bunch/ he says. Well, there's 
safety in numbers. Just don't stay out too late— you can't work 
without sleep," and so forth. 

She seldom worried about her daughter's gentleman friends. 
Susan's working week allowed little sparking time, nor had the girl 
ever seemed overcome by the mere sight of a pair of pants. Besides, 
she never kept her mother in the dark about her actions; she had 
found that the family wheels ran smoother so. Had Susan been a 
son instead of a daughter she might have been mother-smothered, 
but women never easily dominate their female offspring. Counter- 
fires come too naturally to them. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 3i 

Seeing Mrs. Fiske's "Tess" was simply scrumptious, Susan told 
Margaret afterward. The Bunch was simply grand, too, lively but 
genteel university friends of Caleb's and their ladies. Susan trooped 
with them to Dumont's Minstrels, to see William Gillette do 
Secret Service, to dinner at the Bingham House, and once to after- 
theater oysters at Marble Terrace. The Bunch included a young 
married couple who played chaperon for appearances, which was 
nice. The only catch for Susan was the long trolley ride home; 
when parties were not held on week ends her seven-to-five trick at 
the Arsenal dragged, but, even so, she felt that moving among 
charming people was worth its cost in sleep. 

"Why can't that Hawkins fella bring you home instead of load- 
ing you on the streetcar?" Margaret complained. "Warren always 
does!" 

"Because of his early classes, that's why," Susan said. "And Vm 
perfectly safe on the cars. The conductor wakes me up at our stop." 

She missed Warren, but except for a laconic message on a pic- 
ture postcard of a pretzel factory— he had not written. ... A 
pretzel factory— now wasn't that just like him? Caleb sent candy 
and corsages with cute notes— would Warren? Pooh! Caleb knew 
theater people— not the low kind, but the local Drews and Barry- 
mores— and had taken her backstage to meet Anna Held. Warren- 
he introduced her to policemen and their horses! 

Of course, like all men, Caleb sometimes talked jargon about 
male enthusiasms which left her floundering. Whatever were "shot 
strings," for heavensake, and what bearing had they on "overchok- 
ing" a shotgun? But this was no worse than Warren's love affair 
with the Phillies— baseballers! Besides, Warren would get wound 
up about the shame of Philadelphia politics and the menace of 
Senator Quay; if Caleb ever mentioned politics, it was to joke 
about William Jennings Bryan's haircut. 

Caleb was so urbane, really. He never lunged, but he made a girl 
feel precious just the same. Why, the way he handed her out of a 
hansom— it was positively Old World! If all men would only realize 
how thrilling courtliness could be! . . . Susan had an aching no- 
tion that she would stay forever single, because knighthood's flow- 



32 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

ers had withered, had been married, or existed only in novels or 
the novel-world of the Biddies, Drexels, and Drexel-Biddles. At 
times she had walked in the rain vdthout supper, just thinking 
about it. . . . Caleb Hawkins was a dream made flesh. 

Warren sent a boy to Frankford one day in early February when 
the skies were slaty with snow, to leave word that he was back in 
town, and would Miss Susan be free that night, huh, and would 
she telefoam Mr. Stretch? 

''Oh darn!" Susan said when her mother told her. ''Why didn't 
he write ahead? Well, it serves him right— I have an engagement!'' 

Margaret clucked. "Now, not that Hawkins fella again? I declare, 
you might have him to home once in a while! I ain't even met 
him, and that ain't right! You traipse overtown all the time — 
maybe this place ain't good enough for him?" 

Susan had wondered about that herself, but because her mother 
had aired the idea she answered sharply. 

"Mr. Hawkins is a gentleman, and he wouldn't care! I haven't 
encouraged him because I can't see him sitting and looking at 
albums, or listening to an old windbag like Gus butting in with 
opinions about the New Bedford strike or Delehanty's home runs 
or whatever!" 

Margaret bit her lip. "I can see through a brick wall as far as the 
next person— you're ashamed of us! You're very foolish, too, tucker- 
ing yourself out chasing after a man who " 

"The idea! Telling your own fleshanblood she's chasing men! 
Well, talk about who should be ashamed of herself!" 

Her mother gave up. "At least you ought to of told me you 
would be going out. I hate wasting food. It's sinful— just think of 
them starving Cubans." 

"From the smell, it wouldn't be wasted with Gus around," 
Susan said, and hugged her mother quickly. "He's worth two 
Cubans when you have stew. Anyhow, you didn't give me a chance 
to say I was eating at home. We're just spending the evening at 
the Bradys'." 

"Phone up Warren, then, while we wait for Gus. Ain't you in- 
terested in what happened to his brother? I am!" 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 33 

Susan made a face. "The way he beckons at his own pleasure, 
without considering I might have other fish to fry." 

"Don't be so highanmighty. Go on, phone up hke a good girl." 

"You say Fm running after a man, and look at you— practically 
throwing me at another!" 

"Piffle! I just know my manners. And I like Warren. ... I de- 
clare, sometimes I think the Almighty was just looking for trouble, 
making men and women different. Well, it pleased Him, so we 
got to put up with it." 

The drugstore on the Penn Street comer had a telephone. Susan 
cranked and called the Ledger and, while waiting for someone to 
call Warren to answer, read a new sign in the window, between 
the rubber plant and the jar with the tapeworm. "Dr. Pierce's 
Pleasant Pellets," it asserted, "Cure Constipation and insure that 
Love shall be Woman's Natural Heritage." How perfectly disgust- 
ing, she thought; modern advertising was getting 

"Hello. Hello? Susan? . . . Going to be home tonight?" 

No, she wasn't. There! ... 

"Oh." 

She inquired how things were in Reading. 

"All right now," he said. "What happened hadn't anything to 
do with Jim's bereavement. He was taking a walk in the park one 
night and got knocked on the bean, and woke up in a hospital not 
knowing who he was. They think ice broke off a limb, which 
clouted him, because he wasn't robbed or anything. He's back at 
the hotel now." 

"I'm glad, Warren. I was worried, and you didn't write." 

"Did you miss me, now?" 

"Oh, don't play footsie!" 

"Well, Susie, I didn't think family troubles would interest you." 

"You 'didn't think,' " she mimicked. "Is that why people write 
to people, to be interesting? I always heard it was because they 
ought to." 

"O.K. But every day I'd say, I'll be back tomorrow,' so I just 
kept in touch with the office. But then I had to take Jim to Lan- 
caster and " 



34 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

"Never mind now. Vd like to hear about it when I see you." 

"When?" 

"Well, not before Saturday. You see, I " 

"O.K., Saturday it is. Fll call you No, by golly, Fll write/ 

How's that?" 

"Oh, twentythree-for-you! Come to dinner." 

"Fine. . . . Give Caleb my regards. Good-by." 

"Good-by. . . . Wait! How did " 

But the connection was broken, and she decided not to call back. 

Well! He must have noticed more the night of the ball than 
she thought. But why wasn't he jealous? Sending offhand greetings 
to a rival meant— did it mean that he didn't consider that Caleb 
was in the running? . . . 

Snowflakes began to whisk about on her way home, but Susan 
hardly noticed. She gradually worked up an explanation of War- 
ren's casualness which was irritating enough to be satisfactory. If 
he made no protest about her seeing Caleb in his absence, it wasn't 
because he ignored the competition— it must be because he was 
not competing! He couldn't care much, one way or the other. Re- 
membering the time when he'd kissed her in the trolley, she 
nodded— he'd stopped mushing merely because he'd been told to, 
and had grinned about it! Why, he should have tried once again 
anyhow, in spite of rebuff— wasn't he stronger than she? Not that 
he ought to have been so forward in the first place, mind, but once 
he'd had at it, a man should persist if only to prove his notion 
hadn't been an out-of-season summer fancy. But Warren hadn't 
pressed, so therefore he didn't care. ... 

The Bradys had spiced wine that night, and their "winter pic- 
nic," Susan thought, was good fun. A blustering wind drove a con- 
tinuing snow while the Bunch chattered and laughed; when the 
party broke up, Susan and Caleb found that the gale had forced 
transportation off West Philadelphia's streets. They plodded in 
search of a vacant cab until they were thoroughly cold, and closer 
to Caleb's apartment than to the house they had left. 

"Let's shelter at my place," he suggested. "When we've warmed 
up a bit I'll have another try at scaring up a hack." 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 35 

Caleb was a hypocrite, because Caleb felt the hour was ripe for 
cashing a due bill. His current debtor probably understood too, he 
thought, for she nodded cheerfully when he spoke. . . . Women 
were so alike, really! ... 

She wondered whether she was being smart, but excused herself. 
Ordinarily, respectable girls never went alone to men's quarters, even 
to carry broth when they were ill; it was tantamount to depravity, 
like carrying a blanket on a picnic. But now a cruel wind blew 
snow down inside her none too thick boucle coat, her thin shoes 
slipped on hidden ice, and the rare cabs on the streets were occu- 
pied. She was mildly astonished that Caleb had not found a cab 
instantly, for he had the look of a man who does in any kind of 
weather. He was dependable that way. Besides, he was jolly, and 
jolly men simply never were cads, at least not in any of Mrs. South- 
worth's novels. 

His warm rooms made her nose ache after the gusts of Chestnut 
Street. Caleb popped on a gas mantel and poked up a cannel fire. 
Their lights dissolved in silver hunting cups and polished Indian 
clubs. A pair of boxing gloves hung over a university pennant; 
there was a gunrack; there were group photographs of young men 
in athletic dress posing with folded arms to show that they took 
the Big Three calmly. The drapes held pleasant man smells— to- 
bacco, gun oil, Madeira. However, Caleb's books were dusty, 
Susan saw; Buddha on a tobacco jar had had his ears knocked off, 
and a newspaper was scattered where it had been dropped on the 
floor. It was a sitting room which would have told any woman that 
very likely the bed in the next room was unmade. 

She noticed, too, evidences of feminine attention: a cloisonne 
vase held cattails for winter decor; there were a number of un- 
matched doilies, obviously separate gifts; a print of Fujiyama 
didn't look like Caleb's idea; and the cushions heaped on every 
seatable place were embroidered with languishing texts, including 
a brassy ''Love^me little, love me long." 

Caleb said, "You'd better take off your shoes and dry them at 
the fire. I'll fix toddies." 

"Never mind about a toddy for me," Susan said. "I've got to go 
when you can find a cab." 



36 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

She decided he was right about wet shoes, however, so she 
slipped them off and stretched her toes to the fire after a glance 
assured her that her stockings were whole. Caleb brought a drink 
to the chimney place and watched her, smiling. 

''Here/' he said, "let me toast the piggies." 

He knelt and took her feet in his hands. It startled her, but she 
told herself that his attention was companionable only. It felt good, 
too, and— well, they did things about feet in the Bible, didn't they? 

However, when he plucked at her stockings she sat up and drew 
her legs under her chair. 

'Tour hose are wet," he said. 

"Fil keep them on, thank you. Besides, if I wanted to take them 
off, Fd do it myself." 

Caleb shrugged. "When I took off your gloves to admire your 
hands, you were pleased. What's the difference with stockings?" 

"I don't walk on my hands, that's the difference!" 

"I'm only trying to prevent your catching a cold," he said, smil- 
ing as though he were having a hard time believing that himself. 
He ran a finger lightly up her calf. 

She got to her feet abruptly. Without the ladder of shoes, she 
felt insignificant facing him, but she determined to be matter-of- 
fact. 

"You'd better find that cab. I'm warm now." 

'Tm not quite," he said, reeling her in and kissing her. 

He released her as efficiently. Surprised in spite of her tense- 
ness, she had begun to struggle just as he let go. What a silly per- 
formance that must have seemed, she thought angrily! 

"You are rotten," she said, with the back of her hand to her 
mouth. 

Still he smiled, and she detested the superiority of it. 

"Why, Susan! You're unjust." 

"Let me out of here instantly!" 

"Susan," he cooed. 

"Keep away! I warn you!" 

"Such a good girl. . . ." 

He caught her after one lap around the pillow-piled davenport. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 37 

Susan's training in ducking the advances of men never had been 
so cluttered with furniture. Under his hps her own writhed Hke 
wires. Once he seemed to be laughing, as if he enjoyed the silly 
resistance, and she discovered suddenly that she was coldly angry 
and not frightened a bit. 

Behind her she gripped smooth, hard wood — swung it. 

Caleb let go and dropped to one knee. Susan raised the Indian 
club again, but his glazed look told her that another whack would 
be unmannerly if not unnecessary. 

Then she did a peculiar thing. 

"Oh, Caleb!" she wailed suddenly, and fell on her knees beside 
him. 

Objects focused again for him. The blow had been crisp but not 
very hard, for the club had been awkward for her to swing. He sat 
heavily on the carpet and felt his skull. 

''Now what in the hell did you do that for?" he groaned. 

'Tet me get you some water. A towel. Are you all right?" 

"What would I want with a towel?" He seemed more puzzled 
than resentful. Susan was greatly relieved. 

'Tou could soak it and wrap it around your head." 

Something told her not to ask him to repeat what he muttered. 
When he rose she took his arm, so helpfully that her hundred and 
ten pounds pulled both of them off balance. 

"Please don't be useful," he said. "I don't think I've recovered 
enough for that." 

"Well, I must say!" 

"That was a dirty trick, hitting a man when he wasn't looking." 

"Listen to who's a judge of dirty tricks! Now you sit still and I'll 
get a towel." 

"Oh, forget your damned towel!" 

"Losing your temper will make your head ache worse. . . . Now 
where did we kick my shoes?" 

She found a pan of partly warm water in the kitchen and a 
partly clean dishcloth and brought them back. Passing a window, 
she noticed it had stopped snowing, but the wind scolded as loudly 
as ever. Shutters rattled, and somewhere near by a trash-can lid flew 



38 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

off, the snow muting its drunken twirling on the pavement. She 
peered out but saw only one street lamp in the blackness and 
heard only the hunting wind. She shivered. 

"God help sailors on a night like this," Susan said. "I'll never 
make it home. Here, let me tie this around your head. How's 
that?" 

He glanced in a girandole, and his image in the convex glass 
made him glance as quickly away. "Just nobby," he said. "If I had 
a violin Fd play us gypsy music, if I knew how. . . . What do you 
mean, you won't get home?" 

"This bitter-cpld windstorm. Nothing will be moving in such 
weather. Ohdearohdear, Ma will be so upset!" 

In spite of himself, Caleb snickered. There wasn't a sign on this 
pepperbox's face that she feared anything but the wind and her 
mother's peace of mind. Of himself, he wondered how it were pos- 
sible for a man to be so amorous one minute and so indiff 

"And your landlord or landlady, what will they think? I'll get 
you in trouble, not to mention what people will say about me, if 
they hear." 

"My landlord is a bank," he said, "and corporations have no 
more morality than blood. So let's concern ourselves with your 
reputation. I haven't the least doubt tongues will wag." He mocked 
a heavy leer, and added, "So why disappoint them?" 

She backed off and snatched up the club again. "Caleb Hawkins, 
I warn " 

He laughed. "Great Father, put that thing down! I wanted to see 
your reaction. I've decided to take up a study of Primitive 
Woman." Testing his knees, he arose and went to look out a front 
window. "Thank you for not grabbing for a shotgun." 

"Don't be annoyed. I'm sorry, Caleb." 

"You certainly don't need to apologize," he said. "Anyhow, you 
want to get home, and " 

The street was white and deserted. He was murmuring, "Well, 
let's see. . . . Mrs. Bundy dovmstairs may have a bed," when 
Susan popped to tiptoes and kissed him. It landed on an ear lobe, 
and he leaned away. 

"Now what? Biting?" 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 39 

''Don't be silly." After her impulse, she was blushing. 

'Tou don't blame me for wanting to be certain, do you?" he 
said, and took her loosely in his arms. 

She neither drew off nor reached for the club, but smiled uncer- 
tainly as he stroked her hair. 

"Pretty, scrappy Susie," he said, and kissed her. 

She retumed his kiss. "See how pleasant it can be?" he said. His 
voice held no condescension, and his brown eyes smiled with his 
lips. 

Susan felt a yeasty impulse. . . . This was no sweatshop boss 
with hair in his ears, no foreman who pinched with dirty nails. No 
pimply boy who had written a word on a wall for her to see. No 
widower of sixty who missed a body-stove at night. No floorwalker 
who had sneaked rubs behind the counter. . . . And it wasn't the 
back seat of a trolley, either. . . . 

"It—was nice," she said. "Caleb, do it again, just like . . . Yes, 
it is nice." 

"You are a dismaying creature," he said, and meant it fervently 
when she began to cry. "Why cry now? Don't you have me balled 
up enough already?" 

She hid her face against his shoulder. "I used to say— Fd only 
kiss the man— I'd marry— like that." 

Caleb took a bearing; he had been in this part of the forest be- 
fore. 

"There can be love in marriage," he said, "but there's always mar- 
riage in love." He had used the line on a number of occasions; it 
had a plausible ring, said with a dreamy nasality. 

"Do you love me, Caleb?" 

"Of course, dear." 

"Say so, then." 

"Of course I love you." 

"Mmm. You lie." 

"All right." 

"Practice makes perfect." 

"I love you— enough." 

"That I believe." 

"'Stay with me tonight, Susan." 



40 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

"No." 

"I want you to want to." 

"I want to, but I won't." 

But she did. She recalled long afterward, when memories are 
sachet, that another kiss did it. . . . And what, if he were sweet, 
what did it matter? She was sleepy tired, but more weary of eva- 
sion. She remembered sandpipers she'd seen on a cut-rate excursion 
to Wildwood who ran back and forth with the wash of the waves. 
That's me, she said. Keep teasing the ocean, but don't get your feet 
wet. . . . 

She crept out unseen and unheard before dawn. The wind beast 
of the night had turned into a petulant old tomcat, but the morn- 
ing was cold as a shroud. A workman with a dinner pail crunched 
past, steaming through his muffler; down the block toward the 
Drexel Institute a milkman jingled his wire basket, and his blan- 
keted horse leaned forward against the harness to keep abreast of 
the stoop-chasing man. Susan began to walk slowly toward the 
Chestnut Street bridge. On its midtown side several car lines 
would be running. 

She scarcely considered what excuses she would offer her mother, 
or to the foreman at the Arsenal. As she slipped along in the pow- 
dery snow, lying in whorls, dunes, and barenesses, the blood within 
her was as cold as the morning. Her mind wrestled dumbly with a 
disappointment and a humiliating regret. . . . 

For goodnessake, was that all there was to it? 



"Mr. President," Warren said, tidying his cowlick in the mirror, 
"how do you like Philadelphia, no doubt?" 

His reflection simulated Mr. McKinley, and his voice dropped to 
profundity. 

"Mr. Spangles, I love Philadelphia. There are a great many votes 
here, fine, upstanding Republican votes. For them I would even 
eat scrapple." 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 41 

"The name's Spangler, Mack. . . . Well, that answer was manly 
enough. Let's see— what about our Society of the Barons of Run- 
nymede? You know, that little club we Cadwaladers and Lees 
founded here last month, along with some of the provincial aris- 
tocracy from New York, New Haven, and Hartford?" 

"If they vote Republican, I love them also, Dangler. My eyes 
fill with tears when I think of all the lovely, lovely voters!" 

"Use your handkerchief. Your Excellency, and spare Mrs. Work- 
man's costly rugs." 

"I love everybody, Mr. Strangler. Permit me to buy you a beer." 

"Thanks, Bill, but " 

Mrs. Workman knocked and wheezed, "Seven o'clock," derail- 
ing Warren's toy train of thought. 

He shucked into his overcoat and clumped downstairs, humming 
because he was happy. Today he would achieve a by-line. Today 
he would meet the President of the United States. Today, today, 
ta-ra-ra-boom-today! 

Today was, besides the hundred and sixtysixth anniversary of 
Washington's birth. University of Pennsylvania Day and Shrove 
Tuesday. Warren Spangler, Wharton '93, watched his shriven and 
unshriven successors parade into the Academy of Music, played 
on by their band. When George Washington's heir appeared on 
the stage with their provost, the college boys set up a hoo-rah, hoo- 
rah, Penn-syl-vay-nyah, repeated three times and followed by "Mc- 
Kinley! McKinley! McKinley!" Warren made a note that the tag 
of the Long Hoorah didn't have the sis-boom-ah of team! team! 
team! Picklepuss probably would line it out, but . . . 

He had said, "Here's a daisy of a chance, Spangler. Get the color! 
We'll have the President's speech, so don't waste time on that. 
Get the color, and whatever else of news value you can pick up. 
Use your eyes and ears, and that knob between your ears!" 

. . . Well, Warren said to himself as he began to jot down 
notes, the old Academy's jam full. If Penn's twentyeight hundred 
haven't packed it clear to fourth balcony, it'll only be because some 
got left out. Funny thing: they honor the University— which was 
students and instructors— by seating all the fat cats in the places 



4^ THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

of honor. Hear ye, hear ye, hizzoner the Mayor! Make way for the 
Councils, the Sheriff, the Union League, and Commissioners of 
Fairmount Park! We are favored also by the Army, the Navy, the 
clergy, and probably the Chief of Boiler Inspection. Hi there, 
Mulrooney— didja bring ya lunch and the missus? 

The world will very little note, nor long remember, what we say 
here, but, by God, we're here! Edjacation's the hope of the world, 
yessir, and our forefathers—always gotta have forefathers at these 
kind of clambakes, never foremothers— are rotating in their tombs 
because there ain't diplomas on every wall alongside of the Burpee 
Seed calendar. 

The fat cats will nod gravely, while their sisters, aunts, and 
cousins by the dozens are soaking up prestige. Think of being in 
the same room with the President of the United States! The office 
itself emanated a benediction. Fans curled more proudly, silks 
rustled more silkily, academic gowns dropped fewer silver fish, 
and the starched shirts crackled a Te Deum. Sic transit gloria Mc- 
Kinley, ave atque hooray. Only the caryatids wouldn't care, and 
later the scrubwomen: ''It ain't the mashed popcorn I mind so 
much, Katie; it's this here goddam chewing gum!" 

While he maundered, the working lobe of Warren's brain 
humped away at its task. "Provost Harrison's eloquent introduc- 
tion touched off thunderous cheers. . . . The President's benign 
smile was ... The dresses of the ladies were . . . The applause 
was . . ." 

The whole shooting match, as he saw it, was a mere preliminary 
to an opportunity he hoped to seize at the reception afterward. 
W. M. Spangler of the Ledger wanted to ask a question of the 
President of the United States which had nothing to do with Uni- 
versity Day or Shrove Tuesday. 

"Big Bill's going out to look at the university library," a Press 
man told Warren. 

"Now that should be edifying," Warren said glumly, but it was 
on the red steps of that morbid rookery that he got his chance to 
speak to Mr. McKinley. 

"The Ledger would like to know, Mr. President," he said, grate- 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 43 

ful for the brace the third-person neuter gave his voice, "if the 
Maine Commission determines Spanish guilt, vi^hether it will mean 



w-war." 



All the reporters watched the President closely. Some looked 
annoyed at the questioner; others, like Owen Wister, there for 
Harper's, smiled at his candor. 

The big shoulders of McKinley sagged in his frock coat. "This 
country abhors war. I too— I— we must suspend judgment entirely 
until the Commission makes its report. That is the fair, the Ameri- 
can thing to do." 

"B-b-but " said Warren. 

"Thank you, Mr. President," another newspaperman said. "May 
we ask how you like Philadelphia?" 

McKinley smiled and raised a winged eyebrow. "You wouldn't 
expect a derogatory answer, would you?" Warren wrote: (Laugh- 
ter.) "However," continued the President, "one feature of Phila- 
delphia is outstanding: the respect you show for one's privacy." 
An elderly reporter glared at Warren. "The retiring dispositions 
of Philadelphians give me no hesitation whatever to walk from my 
hotel to, say, the Union League through fear of having my 
progress interrupted." 

When the handshaking was over, Warren caught a hack to 
Sixth and Chestnut with Tweed, the fiercely mustached sketch 
artist who had been assigned to the story with him. Winter's early 
darkness fell as he finished writing; like most of his fellows, War- 
ren scorned the slow typewriting machines. When he passed his 
copy in, the city editor read the sheets rapidly and, without a word, 
penciled "By W. M. Spangler" at the head of the first. 

"There's nothing new to the squib about the Maine," Pickle- 
puss said, "except that McKinley said it again in this pueblo. . . . 
Mr. Davis has asked to see this— -I don't know why. I'm glad it's 
no more imbecilic than usual." 

"I'll b-buy you a drink on that!" 

"Git! Pour one down Tweed. His tongue fell to his spats when 
you said 'drink.' " 

Triumph makes men generous; Warren bought for the Pro- 



44 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

fessor, too, when he and Tweed went to McGovern's saloon. The 
old man was shooting his cuffs over the free lunch when they 
scuffed in through the sawdust and Andy, the bartender, was bear- 
ing down on him swinging a knotted bar rag. The Professor stepped 
back on Tweed's toes. 

"Damnation!" Tweed said. 

"Well met," said the Professor quickly. "What detained you? 
Tut, tut"— -he checked a reply— "refreshment first, explanations 
afterward. Andrew, my good Ganymede, take my friends' orders 
and bring them to the table in the corner. Does that suit you, 
Warren my boy?" 

Warren said it did, and their self-invited host piled a plate with 
herring, cheese, sheep's tongue, and crackers. 

"I trust you will forgive this intrusion," the old man said as 
they took seats at one of the pumiced tables, "but I am lamenta- 
bly distressed for ready cash, as Uncle Ike's pawnshop sign says. 
The human stomach, however, snubs trivialities like money when 
it demands its due. One can sometimes reason with Uncle Ike or 
Andrew, but with the sphincter pylori— never!" 

"You're a fraud. Professor, and you know it," Tweed said, lifting 
his mustache with a forefinger, "but here's to you. And to Stretch, 
the up-and-comer." 

"Salud," said the old man, and tossed off his whisky neat. When 
he beckoned for a refill the bartender's eyelids inquired what-ho of 
Warren before bringing it. 

Warren had found the Professor an entertaining moocher. The 
old goat would not accept a drink from a stranger, for instance, 
but when he had been presented formally he became a man's 
nightlong friend. Unlike On-the-Ball, who timed streetcars with 
a tomato-can "watch," the Professor was no loony downtown 
character. He never wore medals, nor clothing more eccentric than 
the missions handed out, and he not only warmed and napped at 
the Public Library but read there too. Some said he had taught at 
Harvard, others said Wellesley; which, made less difference to the 
myths than one might suppose. Harvard had dismissed him be- 
cause he had begun philosophical experiments with morphine 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 45 

which got ont of hand; Wellesley, according to those bcHevers, had 
sHpped him the skids for another kind of research which lost its 
innocence, while several undergraduates lost theirs. 

Like a fond uncle, he congratulated Warren on his reportorial 
milestone. 

"Ah/' he said when he heard of the Maine question, "Arthur 
would not have parried you. He " 

"Arthur who?" Tweed asked. 

"Not Arthur who—Chester Alan Arthur, late twentyfirst Presi- 
dent of these federal states. The only great Arthur of our times." 

"Excuse it," Tweed said. 

"How about T. S. Arthur, the great novelist?" Warren said. "He 
wrote Ten Nights in a Barroom." 

"I am aware of it," said the Professor, "although I deplore it. I 
was reminded, exempli gratia, of an instance when a nosy woman 
demanded that C. A. Arthur make a statement to the country on 
his abstinence from alcoholic beverages. He replied, 'Madam, as 
President I am accountable to you as a public servant, but as a 
private citizen my habits are none of your damned business/ 
Cheers!" He tossed off Tweed's glass. 

"Hear, hear!" Warren lifted his sarsaparilla. "Gentlemen, I give 
you Chester Alan Arthur, defender of the faith, lion of lost man- 
hood, champion of " 

"Damn you, Professor," Tweed said, "that was my rock-and- 
rye!" 

"How absurd of me. Andrew!— another rock-and-rye for the 
gentleman. Make mine Jack Pot whisky, of course." 

"You and your 'of course,' " said the bartender. 

"What I asked the President was a question of public con- 
cern," Warren said. "The people ought to know the answer." 

"The people or the Ledger?" asked the Professor through a 
mouthful of herring. 

"Same thing. A newspaper informs its subscribers." 

"Fm astonished by your cynicism," said the old man, shower- 
ing Tweed with crackercrumbs on the sibilants. "However, you 
must have your raison detre. After all, you write the stuff." 



46 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

"No spik Franch," Warren said. 'English it." 

"Well, let's see— do you believe that Spanish children have 
v^^ailed for Cuban ears to play vi^ith?" 

"No. Scovel and the World boys must have thought that up be- 
tween beers." 

"I offer it as a pungent example of the 'information' certain 
newspaper subscribers get." 

"The Spaniards stick bulls for fun, and that's a fact/' Tweed 
said. "What a race!" 

The shabby old man regarded the artist kindly. "Possibly you 
enjoy prize fights, say?" 

"Sure. I saw Fitz land that solar-plexus punch on Corbett last 
year. Wow! Did you, Stretch?" 

"Such a spectacle would revolt a Spaniard to his marrow," said 
the Professor. "Conceive of it— two of God's images battering each 
other with their fists! After all, in a conida. only a soulless bull 
and a few worn-out horses fall. The S.P.C.A. wouldn't allow that 
here, but a Spaniard might find it ironic that our S.P.C.A. also has 
had to prosecute brutal mothers as a side line." 

He belched politely behind his hand and said, "I should like 
to know how Txuby Robert' Fitzsimmons ever got the middle name 
of Prometheus, the Firegiver." 

"You don't know?" Tweed said. "I thought you knew every- 
thing, had read all the books, and had written most of them." 

"Men are men," the Professor said, ignoring Tweed. "Concrete 
facts. Man, Nation, Society are abstractions, but their conven- 
ience as symbols misleads us into thinking that a race, a group 
following a religious creed, or a state is real in the same sense that 
an individual man is." 

"Too bad George Washington didn't know that," said Tweed 
contemptuously. "He'd have stayed home and et cherries. Why, 
you confounded old anarchist, the U.S.A. is a real, Portland-cement 
fact, dammit!" 

"Get aboard. Tweedy, you're missing the boat," Warren said. 
"Excuse him. Professor. He always hears the eagle scream when 
he's had a snort. What you mean is that America isn't a toothed. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 47 

brained, or tongued fact, but is nevertheless real because we say 
so?" 

"Quite right, my boy. NationaHty is a common agreement which 
has no existence apart from that agreement. The agreement is 
justifiable, but we cannot say that any American— or Spaniard- 
is the least common denominator of his nationality. No, by the 
hair of Hector— no man is a fraction! We are whole, separate 
creatures before anything else. Some happen accidentally to be 
bom within this, that, or the other fiction which are called nations, 
and " 

"I should snicker," Tweed said, twirling his handle bars. "And 
all the little accidents aren't just where, but how and when." 

"Your mind needs laundering," Warren said. "Have another 
wet-me-down, Professor? Tweedy?" 

"Certainly," said the old man absently, but alertly enough. "You 
see, when we forget that a Spaniard is a man, it becomes easy to 
pile middens of trash about him. He becomes a myth, a salaman- 
der, a Cyclops. He becomes, in short. The Spaniard, one of a den 
of interchangeable ogres. As public gossips, the newspapers help 
the myth along: all Spaniards are fiends, all Cubans are patriots, 
all Americans are Heaven's watchmen. Any fool in town who has 
a penny for a paper can read that he, too, is a proctor of world 
morality, merely because some whore happened to drop him in 
the United States. 'Inform/ indeed! The penny press is bought 
by its readers for thrills, like Rider Haggard!" 

"A myth is a fact when people act on it," Warren said. "And the 
Ledger isn't a penny paper. It " 

Tweed said, "Anybody want to play darts while I can see the 
cork?" 

The Professor stared into his empty glass and went on talking. 
The artist groaned and wandered off back. Warren stayed wdth the 
old man; he listened to anyone who seemed to be assured of 
what he was saying, for Warren's prayer was to be someday assured 
himself. . . . The house of truth may have appeared monolithic 
to the Professor, but to Warren there were many doors. How the 
hell does a man choose? ... 



48 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

'Tor specific instances of your daily fictions/' said the old man, 
''how about the Cuban girl who the Journal alleged was stripped 
and searched by Spanish soldiers on an American boat? Untrue — 
she herself denied it." 

"Richard Harding Davis resigned over the treatment his story 
was given/' Warren said. 

'1 do not deny the existence of honest reporters or fair papers. 
However, did the expulsion of American journalists from Havana 
choke off their 'eyewitness' accounts of atrocities in the interior 
of Cuba, where few ever went? Of course not; they haven't even 
changed their date lines to Key West instead of Havana. . . . 
Have they ever thought that the Cisneros girl might have been 
guilty of sedition and conspiracy to murder the Spanish governor? 
Gracious no!— she is a woman and a Cuban. Besides, she said the 
governor lusted after her." 

"You're damning us all for isolated inaccuracies and sensa- 
tionalism," Warren said. "I wouldn't shut down the colleges be- 
cause of a few lying or incompetent professors, would you?" 

The old man rattled his glass on the table, but Warren missed 
the hint. "No, but the lies of the press don't remain isolated when 
syndicates and news associations spread them. Any ramshackle 
rumor becomes God's sweet truth by the help of linotype and the 
Associated Press. ... A man from the Daily Shriek might hear 
in a Florida saloon how Cuban women were drafted to hootchy- 
kootch, or something, for a Spanish saturnalia. He telegraphs the 
chestnut— ascribed to a 'returned Tampa businessman of unim- 
peachable integrity' — and the Associated Press may pick it up from 
its member, the Shriek. Since many congressmen enjoy vicarious 
rape as much as housewives, one of them may inject the A.P.'s 
item into a Senate debate. The final arc of the huge zero closes 
when the Daily Shriek in triumph doth reprint its fable from the 
Congressional Record- and so do a hundred cautious papers who 
might never have given it a sniff/' 

"I'm glad you recognize a hundred cautious papers," Warren 
said. 

"I wonder," said the Professor, "if the publisher ever drew breath 
who voluntarily printed the lines, 'I was dead wrong. I'm sorry.' " 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 49 

He puzzled over Tweed's tumbler, which mysteriously had ap- 
peared in his hand, but swallowed the drink before it should 
vanish. 

"But the Spaniards have committed terrible crimes in Cuba," 
Warren said. ''Cruelty is " 

"—no state monopoly of the Spanish," said the Professor. "The 
quiet Danes once whipped men around trees to unravel their guts. 
A king of England ate human flesh. And I have heard it argued 
that Yankee frontiersmen taught Indians to scalp who had not 
heard of the custom. Yet I never read of Cuban atrocities— have 
they no imagination?" 

Warren suddenly remembered his father's voice ... his tales 
of Andersonville Prison during the war with the South. "Those 
skinny militiamen, old men and boys, on the walls of the Bull 
Pen," Dad had said, "didn't think of us as men when they shot us. 
We were demons utterly unlike themselves. ..." 

Tweed came back to the table, saw that he must have finished 
his drink, and ordered another. 

"Thank you, I shall be glad to join you," said the old man. 

"You read minds too?" the artist said, winking at Warren. 
"Well, if you two deep thinkers have thrashed out the nation's — 
excuse me, I meant the Myth's— problems, let a voter in on it." 

"We needed you for a quorum," Warren said. "What's our 
ukase. Professor?" 

The old man shook his head. "Innocents from Butte, Kokomo, 
and Shamokin have proclaimed themselves capable of straighten- 
ing out Cuba on twentyfour hours' notice. School children have 
burned men in effigy. Hell has seethed in Cuba for almost a 
hundred years, but now suddenly Cuba exists for us." 

"Our businessmen will keep us out of war," Tweed said. "They 
know that shooting will upset our prosperity." 

"Ignoring the questionable morality of their reason, I concede 
the hope," said the Professor, "but it shouldn't be long before they 
will revise their opinions, especially if the war is inexpensive. 
Why should flabby pirates like the British, French, and Dutch 
have profitable empires and we have none?" 



50 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

He sighed. Warren signaled the bartender and paid the check, 
leaving the old man with a double Jack Pot for company. After 
they had said good night Tweed asked his friend home to dinner. 

"Ivy's used to boiling another potato. Come on, you'll be wel- 
come." 

"Why, thanks, I will," Warren said. "I didn't expect home 
cooking until Saturday. Lead on." 

"What's up Saturday?" 

"Oh, a girl I met. She can cook." 

"Well! You got a girl, huh?" 

"I— guess so. What's the matter? Is it illegal?" 

Tweed laughed and drew his neck into his fur collar. "No. 
Aside from occasional skirt-tossings, I didn't know you were in- 
terested. How long has this been going on?" 

"Not very long.'' 

"Well, be sure to tell Ivy. Women love to hear about prospec- 
tive weddings." 

"Say, matters haven't reached that stage yet! I'm not kicking 
doors down in my passion, especially since Susan's a nice girl. 
You can't rush them." 

"Pfft!" Tweed blew out his mustache. 

"That's what I said!" 

"All right, all right, but let me tell you something: when she 
makes up hei mind to marry you, you're a cooked gander, bub!" 



VI 



Behind the Bridge Street guardhouse of the Frankford Arsenal 
stands a small stone shaft bearing a Masonic emblem and a 
battered message: 

. . .HEZ' BRIDLE . . . 

. . . U. S. Inf. . . 

. . . A.D. 1826 in th. . , 

. . . of his age to whom ... 

... a feJJow soldier . . . 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 51 

This unknown soldier is more alien than the trees near by, be- 
cause even Susan could have told how Commodore Perry had 
brought them back from Japan with a treaty and other junk. No 
record remains of " . . .hez' Bridle," of his rank or service, nor of 
where his body lies, nor what he did to inspire a cenotaph to 
keep his memory bright among generations who have preserved 
the monument, if not the memory. 

Gus Kelley brought the gray column into a discourse one nippy 
February morning, and jarred Susan Brecht. 

"So they convicted Zola, they did, whilst a mob of Paris scum 
screamed, 'Death to the Jews!' They've convicted him for holding 
the notion that even Jews like Dreyfus has got rights. All Zola 
asked for himself was the omery consideration a common thief 
could expect, but that sourcasm was over the judge's head. Ah 
well, men'll die for principles. . . ." Seeing the stone, he paren- 
thesized, ''Maybe just as soldier Bridle did." 

Susan walked on silently, uninterested, until the old windbag 
said, "Maybe he, too, believed that living is more than using up 
air and making stool. Life for life's sake is O.K., but 'tis like 
virginity: it defeats itself if carried too far. . . . Now what?" 

She regretted her intake of breath, and managed a smile. 

"Nothing. A corset bone stuck me, or something," 

. . . She had jumped at a random remark, she thought; it 
proved she had a lot of purity left, didn't it? Women who were 
ruined often wouldn't start at the mere mention of lost innocence, 
would they? . . . 

The clock under the north peak of the Small Arms Building said 
five minutes before seven, so she loitered in the cold outside rather 
than share chatter in the corridors. Once the shafting began to 
turn, conversation became unnecessary, and for some days now 
Susan had been indisposed toward chitchat and wherever possible 
had avoided the necessity of explaining her unusual indifference. 

Once inside, she put on her smock and sat at a table in the 
primer room to begin earning another day's dollar-and-two-cents. 
As a newcomer a year before, she had feared the stuff of death she 
worked with, but she was like a lady lion tamer: she had entered 



52 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

the cage often enough to be on standoff terms with the beast. 
Besides, Ordnance had developed a better, safer mixture— H-48, 
whatever that meant— which you spread and rolled and jiggled 
into the primer-cap blanks, as always. 

The trouble with knowing a task too well was the time you had 
to mull your worries. . . . Whyowhy did girls have to suffer, when 
men never did? Men, with their glib ways and casual ribaldries— 
they who could afford to be casual! They winked when Nellie 
Whatsername— the stock-room girl with a cast in one eye— had 
left employment; the buzz of women's talk about Nellie's "tumor" 
hadn't been half so mortifying as the knowing smirks of the men, 
darn — damn them! . . . 

Her practical ignorance frightened Susan; for all the gossip she 
had heard in salesladies' rooms and at church suppers, she did 
not know how women trafficked with men and managed to avoid 
little visitors. Girls who were "naughty, but nice," as the men's 
disgusting phrase went, knew whatever it was that the virtuous Old 
Lady in the Shoe hadn't. Susan now wished she had been less dis- 
dainful of the giggled details— after all, if such knowledge was 
not improving, at worst it was useful. As Warren had said, life 
wasn't all peaches and cream; there were stones in the peaches 
and flies in the pitcher. Warren was smart, Warren was kindly— 
oh, Warren, Warren! . . . 

He almost commented on the fact that her cuperosity wasn't 
sagaciating very well when he came to dinner that evening, bearing 
roses. She was wan, abstracted, forgetting even to enthuse over 
his news of his by-line. . . . Doggone, it hurt, and that was a 
fact. What was more, she made only a piddling fuss over the 
greenhouse roses which had had people in the trolley gawping. 
... He gave her mother an inquiring look. 

Ma Brecht's long face reddened. . . . That morning she had 
thrown a shawl over her head and gone to use a tellyphone for the 
first time in goodnessknows how long; the last time, she remem- 
bered, the phone company book told a person that "all conversa- 
tions should close by exchanging the signal 'O.K.' " Margaret did 
not trust any contraption which had electricity chasing through it, 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 53 

nor did she really believe anybody could hear over wires; for all the 
volume she put into her voice, she might have saved her nickel 
by raising the sash and facing tov^ard the "Ledger-newspaper." 

But she'd felt an inclination toward conspiracy and wanted to 
hint to Warren her Susie's partiality to bo-kays. She liked Warren 
Spangler, and despised seeing the boy's nose being put out of joint 
by that brash Hawkins fella. What had gone on between him and 
her daughter Margaret guessed, and refused to think about. . . . 
She had had a loud scene with the girl when Susan had come 
home that awful morning last week, which ended in double 
hysterics and had not been mentioned since. A shiftless husband, 
lifelong hardship, and the fierceness of her own mother had undone 
Margaret; she could fight a skirmish but never a campaign, and 
especially not with the headstrong child who supported her. 

The home cooking he had anticipated went flat in Warren's 
mouth, and his chipper conversation petered out when it began 
to echo in the room like the kind he sang down iron culverts when 
he had been a kid. Gus's ready tongue was missing— -it was Golden 
Slipper Club night—and Margaret's hectic attempts to be conver- 
sational accentuated the anxiety she tried to conceal as a fig leaf 
disenchants a statue. Susan professed an aggravating headache at 
last— she'd been working too hard, probably— her eyes were 
strained, her stomach was upset, Scott's Emulsion gagged her— oh, 
no doubt she'd hear about her Civil Service test soon— a new 
job as timekeeper would make an improvement all around, odear- 
yes. 

"Susan, how about a vacation?" Warren said on the porch when 
he left. "Florida, how about it? I saw excursion posters in the Plant 
System window on Fourth Street. . . . Oh, sh-shucks! You could 
pay me back, if you w-wanted to." 

Warren was so Genuine, she thought in bed that night, and, 
dwelling on how unspurious he was, she spotted her pillow with 
tears. Men like Warren gave to those women fortunate enough to 
land them feelings of security far and away above plain roof and 
board. A Husband in the Finest Sense of the Word, she squeaked 
into her soggy pillow, while Gus Kelley rose to try to hunt down 



54 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

whatever durn spigot was gurgling just loud enough to be inter- 
esting. 

However, a week later, as testimonials for Wine of Cardui put 
it, "she became unwell, and was delighted." Apprehension and 
remorse ended, she determined to devote herself to Warren; she 
was certain that her lesson in humility must have a significance, 
had been meant to point the way to the Real Thing, and Warren 
was It. 

She almost overwhelmed him, as a matter of fact. During March 
they resumed the gay intimacy which had made January happy, 
but with something added: a Susan who was as much giving as 
she dared to be. She dumfounded her man by studying his inter- 
ests, for one thing. When he spoke vernal-blooming hopes for the 
Phillies, she did not wrinkle her nose as once she had, exclaiming, 
"Oh, baseballers," but accurately distinguished Lajoie from Dele- 
hanty and Orth from Donohue, and hoped they "would get a lot 
of good practice at Cape May.'' She followed the articles Warren 
was writing about the morbose Schuylkill Valley Water Company, 
knew who Mr. Stevenson was, and knew why it was remarkable 
that a councilman had refused and reported a bribe. When shad 
began to run in the Delaware she went into hock to stun Warren 
and the other shad lovers dining at Bookbinder's. She bought a new 
rustproof corset, and Vici Kid shoes, did her hair a la. chute d'eau, 
and saw that her Sunday melton suit hugged her curves as if it 
loved the work. She was electric, and through his buzz Warren sud- 
denly recalled Tweedy's chaff: "When a woman makes up her 
mind to marry you, you're a cooked gander, bub!" 

He was flattered, amused, and, being a Lancaster Dutchman, also 
somewhat guarded. All this high-geared charm for him? he won- 
dered. He decided to ask a leading question, but got nowhere 
with it. 

"Caleb?" she answered with a frown. "Caleb? Oh, you mean 
the nice man who took me home that time! No, I haven't seen him 
for weeks. ..." 

Which was true enough, goodness knows, although not because 
he hadn't proposed it, but she had bundled him about his business, 
let us tell you! "My dear Mr. Hawkins," she had written after ignor- 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 55 

ing his first two notes, "y^^i liave the advantage of me. I seem 
to disremember whom you are. I am, truly yours, (Miss) Susan 
Brecht." Hauteur, as aloof dignity was called in Miss Atherton's 
books, fixed his wagon all right! He hadn't peeped since. 

Warren persisted mildly. "I thought you'd been going around 
with him while I was away?" 

"Oh, that! Goodnessake, he just filled in time, you might say." 

"Well, doggone!" Warren said, and she blushed without forced 
draft. 

One doubt haunted her still, but when she tried to exorcise it 
toward the end of the month Gus failed her. They were on their 
way home and were passing Bridle's cenotaph when she broached 
the matter. 

"Tell me something, Gus, about something you said a while 
back." 

"Sure, if you can remind me what it was. Lots of times I just 
turn on me mouth and go off leaving it running." 

"You said that virg— how dare-st I say it?" 

He snorted. "Why worry about a perfectly proper word? What's 
obscene about virginity?" 

"Well, let me make up an example— you know, purely imaginary. 
Let's say there's a girl who's been a good girl, but makes a misstep. 
You follow me?" 

"It don't rupture me powers." 

"She makes this misstep " Susan fumbled and stopped, think* 

ing that discussing such a subject impersonally was both tricky 
and bothersome. 

"I got that," Gus said. 

"Don't rush me! I've got to think as I go along." 

"Well, frinstance, is this gal anybody we'd know, or is she 
from Pittsburgh? Did she know which end was up, or not? Was 
she drug by the hair, or did she enjoy herself, or both? There's 
all kinds of missteps— that's a real snaky word." 

"We-e-11, she might be like a girl at the Arsenal, say. Yes, that 
would be easier to describe. I don't know anything about this— 
this *enjoy' business. I " 



56 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

He managed to smother a laugh and its symptoms. Susan looked 
vaguely about the street and took the plunge. "Well, let's imagine 
that she— she was disappointed with the whole shooting match 
... or does that sound queer?" 

The old man jerked his head up sharply— the gal could be 
any of the ones at the Arsenal, hey? "No," he said aloud, "it don't 
sound queer. I guess Eve looked up at the Tree after her first climb 
with Adam and decided the serpent had overrated the taste of its 
fruit. Me late wife was like that, to be personal, even though I never 

had any complaints from Let it pass. Anyhow, I read some- 

wheres that 'the sport of love wants learning too, the same as 
fiddle playing.' " 

Susan stared at him helplessly; if he was making fun of her 
she felt she ought to be angry, but she couldn't always tell about 
Gus, nor did she know how to show acerbity without giving 
herself away. 

"Would you mind leaving out serpents and fiddles?" she said. 
"Darn it, Gus, can't you understand they have nothing to do with 
a woman who weakened.^ Smart women, and even good ones, 
weaken, don't they?" 

He agreed, but said nothing. If she had not been so furtive 
about meeting his eye Susan might have noticed how alarmingly 
Gus was adding psychical twos and twos and getting conect 
fours. . . . The red-eyed atmosphere between Susie and her ma 
a few weeks ago, he thought, brought an end to the gal's trips 
downtown. Then she'd had vapors afterward, which blew away in 
a rush of hoorah for big Stretch. And now she was wheedling for 
some kind of assurance from sweet, dumb old Gus— uh-huh/ . . . 

"Now this girl I have in mind," Susan continued, "got smitten 
with a high-class man, say like a— a— oh, a librarian, and that made 
her misstep easier, you see. Just like they say in books, she didn't 
really love him, but she thought she did, and he didn't— um— push 
her at first, even though she half wanted him to. But he took ad- 
vantage of her, see?" - 

Gus squeezed his eyes shut and shook his head as if to clear 
it. "Not when you gabble like that, I can't. How can a man take 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 57 

advantage of a woman when she's making him feel high-class, 
wanted, and without push?" 

"I said, she thought she was in love. She wanted to know about 
love." 

*'Uh-huh. So now she's got the pretty little plaything on her 
hands, like a cocker spaniel gone fat and blind." 

^'August Kelley, who's telling this story!" 

" 'Sense. All right, what chapter are we up to?" 

"Well, what I want to know is: is she any good— you know- 
afterward?" 

He whooped, and despite her annoyance Susan felt relieved. 

"Lord love us, Susie, do you mean to say you ever gave skull 
room to an idea that a woman's ruined by being had?" 

"Don't be indelicate! I was referring to outright folly." 

"Well, it is a folly often, and no mistake, but so is touching 
a hot stove lid or looking for gas leaks with a candle. But, unless 
being dumb's a sin, they ain't sinful. Is that what you wanted to 
hear?" 

"But girls are condemned right and left '* 

"Sure they are, and among the loudest Bible bangers are re- 
formed harlots that were lucky to escape into marriage. Then there 
is the Miss Willardses, whose maiden veins don't itch no more, if 
they ever did. What do dry sticks know about passion— how can 
you renounce something you never had? Howsomever, the earth's 
cluttered with hard-shell Cur-ristians who suspeck their Teacher 
was ontirely too dum sympathetic toward the Woman Taken in 
Adultery." 

"Not just dry sticks do the talking, Gus. Lots of men do too. 
After all, you can't get around the Seventh Commandment." 

"Susie, I just got done mentioning a young Man who felt pretty 
strong against bigots sitting judgment on His laws." 

"Fm- it still worries me." 

He tried to see her face, but they had just passed an island of 
lamplight and had not yet reached the next. 

"Why, Susie?" he asked. 

The softness of his voice almost trapped her; she began to 



58 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

answer truthfully, but forced a cough in time. 'Tardon. . . . Oh, 
nothing—I just wanted to know how you stood on such things. 
Don't get the notion this has anything to do with me, for it 
doesn't." 

"Sure." 

"One last question: suppose this girl got a proposal of marriage 
from a genuine young man— not the one who took advantage. 
Should she tell him about her misstep?" 

The burly old man chuckled fatly. "If she's a natural-bom 
idiot, she will." 

"Oh, I know it might wreck her chances, but mustn't she be 
fair irregardless? Not let him marry a girl who was not all she pre- 
tended to be, and— you know?" 

"What's she pretending to be except a gal who wants to be 
married?" 

"You're being deliberately dense, Gus Kelley!" 

"I'm not sure, Fm just not sure," he said, shaking his head, 
"and I don't think your gal knows what she means, either." 

"What does it matter? It's only a hytho— hypo— one of those 
imaginary cases." 

"It sounds like somebody I know." 

Susan was afraid to ask whom. 

Gus waved a broad hand. "Well, suppose this girl's second young 
man was pure and he asked the gal point-blank was she pure or 
not?" 

"Why, the idea of such gall!" Susan said, quite involuntarily. 

The old man smiled. "O.K. Now if he'd be prissy and impudent, 
what do you think of a young lady who'd encourage that attitude 
in men? Your trouble comes from " 

"Not my trouble!" 

"I forgot. Well, Miss Goody Twoshoes's trouble comes from 
reading too much Ella Wheeler Wilcox poetry, seems to me. 
Let's be honest and take our hands off the scales, as the butcher 
said, and you tell me in what way a woman is spoiled by being 
taken by or giving herself to a man." 

"I'm sure I wouldn't know," she said primly. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 59 

''Nor me, neither, unless she was overripe for rottenness to begin 
with, Hke a fallen pear." 

"Gus!" 

"Just one of those imaginary cases," he said blandly. 

"You be careful how you talk, that's all I ask, just be careful." 

He walked silently a minute and then said, "Nope, Susie, I can't 
tell you what I think and 'be careful' the way you like. I ain't a 
feller that thinks love is a mad dog whose bite calls for serum 
and prayer. By gosh, that's why we have women trotting to lawyers 
these days trying to find out ways to marry a man and keep it both 
legal and 'innocent.' It's dodgasted ridicklous, but they're doing 
it just the same. Anyhow, what's bothering you is more than my 
manner of talking, Susie." 

"I'm sure I don't know what you mean." 

"You are?" 

"I'm sorry I ever brought this up!" 

He put a thick arm about her shoulders. They had come close 
to home and saw Margaret peering out for them, a friendly 
shadow in an orange window. Susan half turned to her companion 
to say something impulsive— something honest, too, by the look 
of her, Gus thought—but then broke away and ran into the house. 

He followed at a normal walk. As her figure darkened going 
away, to be relit brilliantly in the doorway, he muttered under 
his breath: 

"She never had a chance to be anything except mixed up. . . . 
Spare a thought for that long-legged feller she's a-gunning for, too, 
if You please. Amen." 



VII 

Smoke and fellowship were thick in McGovem's Alehouse, and 
one made the Professor blink while the other made him love man- 
kind. 

"Our frontier has gone," he said, "but the itch to push it out- 
ward has not. The Indian has been whipped into dry corners of 



6o THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

the country and is safe, because not even the bodies of his dead 
can fertihze those lands profitably for his conquerors. We have 
wearied of our beloved hatreds, of the North for the South, farmer 
for townsman, debtor for creditor, but we are unified by discovering 
that Europe hates us. So, to work off energy and show the bastards, 
we shall jump the Spaniard. Thirtythree tiresome years after Ap 
pomattox young men again will die in numbers large enough 
to thrill the most exacting patriot." 

Warren Spangler squinted through the haze, wondering if its 
sting alone had brought tears to the old man's eyes. A trickle of 
saliva ran from a corner of the Professor's mouth, too, and Tweed 
and a Record man passed a look which said, ''He sure can't hold 
his liquor the way he used to." 

"Say, Professor," Tweed said, "are you Spanish? I mean, have 
you any Spanish blood?" 

The old man nodded. "Yes," he said, and Tweed looked satis- 
fied until the quavering voice continued. "I also have the blood 
of the Chinese, Bulgarians, Peruvians, and Kaffirs. In the same 
sense, I am the babe in the womb and the corpse in the coffin, 
and 'whatever degrades another degrades me, and whatever is 
done or is said returns at last to me.' " 

"Godalmighty!" whispered Tweed. 

"Don't all that keep you kind of busy?" the Record man asked. 

Warren stopped chewing cuticle to say, 'Trofessor, I wish I 
understood. These two guys here don't give a damn, and that's 
all right, but don't pay any attention to them. Look— if we just 
wanted to prove our strength, wouldn't we pick on those sword- 
rattling Prussians? Nobody likes them either." 

"Son, they are not so expedient. The Spaniard is: he is dark- 
skinned, Roman Catholic, weak, and easier to get at. Our con- 
stipated Army and muscle-bound Navy will have a light exercise, 
and not a deathly struggle on their hands as with the Germans." 

"I can lick any son of a bitch my weight in the world," Tweed 
said, beating his breast. 

"I can lick anybody in this saloon," the Record man said, and 
they both laughed. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 61 

The Professor said, *'How easy it is to fall into the error of 
personification, as I did about the Army and Navy. An army can- 
not die with a throatful of blood, nor a navy v^ith fish nibbling 
av^ay its lips. Hovi^ever, you boys can." 

''Cheery old bastard," said Tvi^eed. 

"Whom are you calling old?" said the Professor. 

He rose v^ith a totter, bowed to the altruists who had bought 
his last drunk, and went out into the April night, to wind up on 
a slab at Thirteenth and Wood before morning, kicked to death 
by a person or persons unknown. 

Warren collected enough money from Newspaper Row's work- 
ing brotherhood to rescue the body from the pickle tank at Medico- 
Chi, for, unlike their employers, most of the boys believed that 
charity should not require too close a look at a victim's morals 
or politics. No one discovered whether the Professor had been 
done in by a thug enraged over his empty pockets or whether some 
flophouse patriot had resented being called an inferior of some 
damned dago named Cervantes. Apart from a hurried investigation 
of the murder by a patrolman who knew his dinner was cooling 
while his wife's temper was not, no one cared much. Tweed spoke 
a requiem for the old man with which most of his associates agreed: 
"He was a nice old souse, but as impractical as a cut-glass cuspidor." 

The practical world, which Tweed reverenced and the Professor 
quit, achieved many prodigies by May. The court of inquiry on 
the Maine, refusing Spanish collaboration, found that the vessel 
might have been blown up by external tampering, an opinion 
which justified the naval strength we had mounted at Key West 
for weeks. The state of Iowa felt its coast threatened and voted a 
half-million-dollar war chest. The Maine Commission's declaration 
put an end to the whopper-swapping of the yellow press, including 
one tale that sailors had threatened to desert by the thousands 
if they were not allowed to avenge their dead. 

Mr. Holland's submarine boat, the Plunger, kept plunging off 
Perth Amboy, and its proud inventor offered to blow up the 
Morro Castle at Havana, the immense thickness of its walls and the 
fact we were still at peace being mere trifles for the Plunger. A 



62 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

hundred Kentucky colonels volunteered to clean out Cuba per- 
sonally, while the battleship Kentucky was christened with water 
instead of bourbon, to the delight of Dr. Swallow's Prohibitionists. 
Near where the warship was launched in Virginia a man was 
sentenced to one minute in jail for perjury, and a District of 
Columbia judge spoke a good word for the economies of lynching. 

In the Wild West, irritated citizens of San Jose, California, 
swore they were sick and tired of having their town's name applied 
to a fruit scale for which Tasmania was to blame; dog owners in 
Seattle found their streets unsafe for their kioodles when so many 
tenderfoot Klondikers were passing through. Buffalo Bill said thirty 
thousand Indians could take Havana by storm; twentyfour, in- 
cluding co-eds, were graduated from Carlisle Institute while their 
orchestra played the "Second Hungarian Rhapsody." 

Brann the Iconoclast, although treacherously shot in the back, 
killed his opponent on a Waco sidewalk and so passed to glory 
Texas style; in England Mr. Gladstone prepared to die with the 
dignity one would presume of a great former Prime Minister. 
Russia rumbled threats at a China of which Julian Ralph said in 
Harper's, ''Heaven speed its dividing up!" Those "Frenchmen of 
the Orient," the Japanese, fastidiously stripped to the waist before 
wading in among unarmed Chinese with swords. Five crack British 
brigades were stopped cold for six months in the Khyber Pass by 
a wild lot of heathen who produced butter from sheep's tails, but 
most startling of any foreign intelligence was the determination 
vowed by the Cubans to fight us, of all the earth's kind people, if 
we invaded their land without first recognizing its freedom. 

New York saw the beginning of a "reservoir of literature and 
learning" at Fifth Avenue and Fortysecond Street to replace an 
old one which had contained plain water; the Brooklyn baseball 
club made ten errors in losing to a bush-league Lancaster, Pee-Aye, 
team, 13-3. 

The Phillies to a man, however, signed a teetotal pledge in 
hope of a glorious resurrection of baseball fortune, the Public 
Ledger said, while howls from "Pro Bono Publico" and "Irate Tax- 
payer" peppered its editors on subjects ranging from noisy ash 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 63 

collection to the "critical condition" of the Philadelphia water 
supply. A total stranger entered the home of Mrs. Sarah Barncopf 
at 2228 Freedley Street and cut off her nose, saying it was too 
long; newspaper fashion advisers cautioned all ladies with big feet 
for goodness' sake not to decorate their shoes with "jeweled butter- 
flies and bugs." 

Almost anywhere, comics warned one another, "Don't spit- 
remember the Johnstown flood," but saliva failed to trouble Miss 
Katherine Osborn of New Haven, a virtuosa who could whistle like 
the dickens. 

Near a Florida "city of derelict wooden houses drifting in an 
ocean of sand," an army camp of 250 acres, partly owned by 
local Congressman Sparkman, was established north of the Tampa 
outskirts; in Cuba, Spanish officers worried over the "semiofficial 
plans" of American attack in a war yet undeclared, considerately 
published for them two months earlier by the New York Herald. 

Congressional tempers flared over the issue of intervening in 
Cuba without recognition of its independence; the word "liar" was 
passed and books and punches were thrown. Someone even fired 
a pistol through the White House corridors uncaught. However, 
on Monday, April 24, Congress proclaimed a state of war between 
the United States and Spain, although one of Mr. Roosevelt's 
gunboats had captured a vessel with the inept name of Buena 
Ventura two days before. On that same Monday the Secretary of 
State resigned, ostensibly because of his senile belief that war was 
unnecessary. 

Other notables, including ex-Presidents Cleveland and Harrison, 
Drs. Eliot of Harvard and Jordan of Stanford, Mark Twain, Wil- 
liam Dean Howells, Andrew Carnegie, and Charles Francis Adams, 
later were to point out that we went to war after the Spanish 
Queen Regent had conceded every point the American ambassador 
had raised. 

However, the guns of Sampson's fleet opened on the earthworks 
of Matanzas, producing "a wonderfully beneficial effect on the 
stock market," and killing a mule, the Spanish defender was sup- 
posed to have said. And the Professor, late of McGovern's beer 



64 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

mill and of the Arch Street flophouses, moldered peacefully as 
Warren Spangler got his chance to report a war and Caleb Hawkins 
to fight in one. 



Vlll 



The Assistant Secretary of the Navy had a picture of the OJympia 
on the wall of his office, Caleb noticed as he laid his gloves on 
Mr. Roosevelt's desk. He had read about Commodore Dewey's 
flagship, now perhaps lost in the Manila Bay battle, for the A.P. 
had quoted "London sources" which said two ships and five hun- 
dred of our men had gone down. Trim and white in the photo- 
graph, Olympia. yet was fearsome; its shore-bound admirer was 
rugged and brown and had a way of scanning visitors which sug- 
gested that if he'd had a tail he'd be switching it, Caleb thought. 

Mr. Roosevelt rested a fist on the letter of introduction Caleb 
had sent in. 

"I should like to accommodate you and, of course, my friend 
Mr. Wanamaker, but the roster for K Troop is filled. We eastern- 
ers shall be sworn in today, as a matter of fact." 

He tapped his calendar pad and smiled happily. May sixth, 
Caleb saw, was the one hundred and twenty-sixth day of the year, 
and Uranus was in conjunction with the Moon, which would be 
full ... as was the roster of K Troop, First Volunteer Cavalry. 

"But I must be accepted!" the young man said, leaning forward. 
"I came when I could. There were affairs to set in order— with my 
family and at the law school. I can not return to Philadelphia and 
tell anyone I was too late!" 

Mr. Roosevelt stared at him for a moment and then asked, 
"Why not?" 

Caleb's lips tightened stubbornly. . . . His father, for one why- 
not; George Fox Hawkins's pink face had set into lines few per- 
sons other than his son ever had seen when the worldling had idly 
spoken of going to Washington to join the Rough Riders. Caleb 
had been making talk and had not expected to be taken seriously, 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 65 

but his father, as usual, bit hard. George Fox had quoted his 
namesake and several Scriptures bearing on the insanity of the 
sword, Caleb had resented instruction as ever, and once again 
there'd been a family dingdong, with the old man stumping off 
before he fell into the error of angry shouting. Throughout the 
idiotic scene, which for the life of him Caleb could not understand 
any better than a dozen others, his mother had wept and repeated 
over and over, "Caleb, Caleb, thy light flickers low." Then when 
the dean at the Law School had attempted to suggest he be sure 
he knew what he was about, Caleb had told him where to go, too, 
but as for himself he was going to Cuba! ... In a manner of 
speaking, young Mr. Hawkins had gotten a whim in trouble and 
felt honor-bound to marry it. 

'1 fear my reasons would bore you, Mr. Secretary," Caleb said, 
"but they are final. I must go with you to San Antonio when you 
leave." 

Mr. Roosevelt showed his sugar-cube teeth again, in what might 
or might not have been a smile, and said, "Tell me, why are you 
indispensable?" 

"I read that you want every Rough Rider " 

"Volunteer trooper." 

"Pardon me— to be capable of living as if the sky were the only 
ceiling he'd ever known. Very well, I can— riding and shooting have 
been a passion with me." 

"Shooting?" said Mr. Roosevelt, pointing a stubby finger at his 
visitor's glasses. 

"Yes. You also wear spectacles," the young man said stiffly, "yet 
I have heard you shoot well too." 

The man called "a literary politician" touched his finger tips 
together, looked out the window, and murmured, "Rides like a 
centaur, shoots like Orion, and can subsist as rudely as a nester." 

"I challenge proof! I resent being judged without demonstra- 
tion!" 

Mr. Roosevelt still seemed to find the view out the window in- 
teresting. He spoke as if to himself. 



66 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

"Feeling that one has to prove oneself is young, normal, and 
American. I sat in this chair as war grew upon us and vowed I 
should not chafe my heart out here when others were going to 
the front. . . . There is no triumph of peace quite so great as the 
supreme triumphs of war. Any man with red blood in his veins " 

A man came in, bent toward the Assistant Secretary, and said, 
"General Corbin and a group of the Congress will be here soon 
for your induction, sir." 

"Yes, yes, I shall be ready." 

The man went out, and Mr. Roosevelt swiveled to glance at the 
letter on his desk. "I observe that Mr. Wanamaker says you are 
an athlete. AVhat are your interests?" 

"I box, and also learned fencing with the saber. As a swordsman 
I broke no records, but I did become the middleweight champion 
of the varsity. If I sound boastful, I mean only to be informative." 

Mr. Roosevelt chuckled. "I fought too, at Harvard— bare- 
knuckled. . . . Well, let's see— I should say that you fulfill every 
requirement for a trooper of the First Volunteers but one." 

"A vacancy in K Troop," Caleb said bitterly. 

The frock-coated Assistant Secretary suddenly roared and stabbed 
at him with a forefinger. 

"No! No rules or limits apply to our Mr. Hawkins because he 
is a special creation!" 

"I beg your pardon?" 

"Mis-ter Hawkins, has it ever occurred to you that the gracious 
little word 'sir' is customary when you address your seniors?" 

"Sir, I " 

"Think about it. One gains respect by shov^dng respect— there 
is a hint with which to begin your ruminations. . . . No, Mr. 
Hawkins, I shall forward your application to Colonel Wood with- 
out either recommendation or approval." 

The Assistant Secretary rose. Caleb also got up, temporarily 
stunned, his head humming the way it once had when a hunter had 
thrown him at a Rose Tree steeplechase. ... He never for an 
instant had expected . . . 

Mr. Roosevelt held out his hand. "I am a direct man too," he 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 67 

said, giving Caleb a hard grip, ''but you must learn some humility 
before charging hell-for-leather at what you want. Perhaps you 
will learn— that is up to you. Good day, sir!" 

Caleb found the street without knowing how and dragged his 
feet back to the hotel he had left scarcely an hour before. Then 
he had been a Somebody with neat gloves on his hands and an ap- 
pointment with honor; now he felt so stupefied he was unaware of 
being barehanded. His rejection had come as such a surprise that 
he had not yet had time to become angry. . . . 

That afternoon in an army dispensary of the District a contin- 
gent of fops, athletes, stockbrokers, and three New York policemen 
were sworn into the Army of the United States. Their new lieuten- 
ant colonel told them after the ceremony, "Absolute obedience to 
every command is your first lesson," and they gave the ex-Assistant 
Secretary of the Navy "a rousing cheer, and three times three more 
rousing cheers." By Sunday night every recruit for Troop K, First 
U. S. V. Cavalry, had boarded trains for Texas, where sergeants 
would greet them after their curious fashions. 

So, too, would Caleb Parrish Hawkins, birthright Quaker, who 
stripped down to a pair of alligator bags and a steamer trunk 
before buying a one-way ticket to San Antonio. If Caleb still had 
lessons to learn about military simplicity, his luggage at least did 
not include the gentleman's gloves he had left, along with a large 
chunk of cockiness, on Theodore Roosevelt's desk. 

On May sixth, when Caleb was strolling confidently toward the 
Navy Building in Washington, Susan Brecht began her first day 
as a timekeeper in the Frankford Arsenal and was raised to twelve 
dollars a week. To celebrate and improve her prosperity she had 
ordered in advance a set of Chambers's Encyclopedia from Lippin- 
cott's Book Store, for her pride in rising in the world was fierce. 
It was of no consequence that she would be transferred to the 
night shift which the war had forced, nor that an Arsenal might 
be a dangerous place. . . . Anyhow, the Delaware had been mined 
against the Spanish fleet, and that old Cervera, or Whatsisname, 
couldn't get up to Frankford Creek— could he? 



68 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

Besides, there were more important matters to concern a person. 
Pretty soon winter's lace curtains would have to come down, be 
soaked in the tin wash boiler, be stretched and put away, and dark 
green shades hung in their places. Carpets would be un tacked, 
beaten in the back yard, and rattan matting laid instead. The pot- 
bound ferns needed attention, and she also planned a pansy win- 
dow box. But before such a frivolity could be justified the house 
must get a scrubbing from top to bottom and the cellar a white- 
washing. Van Scivefs was offering a three-piece oaken bedroom set 
for only seventeen-fifty— maybe we can manage that— and the bath- 
room did so need paint, and some reorganization, according to the 
clipping out of the Ladies' Home Journal, "The Washstand as a 
Thing of Beauty." Dearodear, a person would also have to overhaul 
her crash skirts and shirtwaists, what with Decoration Day just 
ahead. Summer was a-coming in, a Philadelphia summer, and the 
war would not affect that in the slightest--would it? 

Also there was Warren to think about— oh, he was so nice, and 
they were such close friends. Wouldn't he be surprised that she 
and Hattie Bomberger had organized a club for summer outings 
among Their Crowd, with a dollar fee to keep it select. What jolly 
times they'd have! Trolley parties to Willow Grove to ride the 
chutes, boat rides down-river past pretty Marcus Hook and danc- 
ing to "Sweet Marie" in the moonlight coming back Oh dam! 

She'd forgotten the torpedoes in the Delaware — ^but anyhow, there 
were no mines under Lemon Hill in Fairmount Park to blow up 
box-lunch picnics. Thank heaven for the Quaker love of green 
space; our Park and the Vienna Woods, they say, are unique 
among the cities of the earth. Warren would love picnicking with 
Their Crowd— wouldn't he? 

But he was often so queer about parties; it wasn't that he was 
long-faced or she too gay, exactly, but he sometimes looked at 
Hattie Bomberger as if he were trying to pick out the softest place 
to pinch, or worse. Well, goodnessake, maybe Hattie did giggle 
a lot, but wasn't that better than sitting around with a blank 
look and saying things which Susan was sure were vaguely dis- 
reputable without knowing why she was sure. Now take that busi- 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 69 

ness with Jimmy Johnson, who was really very sweet and who made 
no bones about saying he thought Warren was "gorgeous, simply 
gorgeous/' When Jimmy had exclaimed about the fascinating feel 
of Honey and Almond Cream, the gorgeous big horse had pulled 
his darned old solemn look and said, '*Uh-huh. By the way, Jimmy, 
how do you stand on silk shimmies for a gentleman? Are they 
nice?" 

Even when he didn't poke fun at some of her friends he seldom 
got chummy; he said he didn't go for hunting entertainment in 
packs. That might be all wellangood for a man to say, but a 
bachelor girl was expected to run with a set, no matter how "vul- 
pine" it seemed to Warren Spangler. Vulpine— such cultivated 
words he used when he wanted to— she could have shaken him for 
not showing himself off when they were in company. My good- 
ness, when a girl had such a handsome, manly fella on the string, 
who was bright too, and she could see the other girls eying him 
like a fur coat, you'd think he'd seize opportunities to make her 
proud. But no, Warren would sit back and watch far less talented 
fellas cut up and listen to them talk, with his face fixed in one of 
those Looks. Why, he didn't even act possessive! She had a mind 
to . . . 

No, she'd better not. A girl could not be forward; the man has 
to be the first to say, "I love you" and things like that, as any book 
of manners would tell you. And he did make her feel wanted some- 
times when they were alone; you could see it in his eyes and feel 
it like a current in the touch of his hand. . . . Susan's skin prickled 
as she remembered Wednesday night, and she darted a glance 
about to see if Mr. Dungan, the foreman, or any of the girls had 
seen her blush. 

Ma had gone to bed, and they were sitting at cassino. 

"Susie," Warren had said, "Susie, I don't make much of the job 
of being a beau, do I? . . . Hey, you can't take a ten and a three 
with a queen!" 

"Why, Warren Spangler, whatever made you say a thing like 
that?" 

"Well, for one thing, I can't play a mandolin, and for another, 



70 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

I don't roach my hair. YouVe hinted you'd Hke me more dandified, 
too." 

'Tm sure I don't care what you do." 

Then he had grinned his exasperating grin. '*Tsk-tsk. Let's be 
calm." 

" 'Beau/ indeed! Why, you haven't even " 

He'd cocked his head, but she decided not to finish her sentence. 
Both put down their cards and waited on the other. 

'Tes, well," he'd finally said, "let's stop pretending, Susie. I'm 
very fond of you, but you like to call the rules of the game of 
hearts." 

'Tou're talking words, Mr. Spangler," she had said, just as 
haughtily as all get out. 

'Til try to be plain. Will you make an effort not to interpose last 
month's Women's Advice from the Home Journal?'' 

''Why do you have it in for the magazines I read? Leslie's and 
the Journal are high-class, and " 

"Oh, high-class, absolutely," he had said, with one of those 
Looks, "but I can't think in Journal terms when I want to talk of 
you and me." 

That's what he had said: "you and me." 

"Oh?" 

"No." 

"Well, begin," she'd said, folding her hands. "Begin. I'm Hsten- 
ing." 

"Why do you think I've been hauling 'way up here all these 
weeks— because I like the Fifth Street line?" 

"No, but you like my mother and Gus." 

"Oh joy," he had sighed, "more games. Can't you hold still and 
answer straight questions straightly? You know darned tooting I 
come only to see you!" 

"Ghee, t'anks." 

Warren had laughed. "Susie, I like you best when you don't 
worry about being a 'lydy' and are being yourself. I love th " 

"Oh, so now I'm not a lady, am I?" 

"Who said so? I said " 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 71 

"Please let it pass. You would know so much better about who 
is and who isn't!" 

He had taken her hands. 'Tm not sold on ladies, Susan. Too 
many are pleats-and-bows ladies only. Fm spoiled by having known 
real ones — my mother, and women like Richard Harding Davis's 
mother— who make the Mrs. Grundys and Mrs. Astorbilts seem 
pretty pallid, stupid females. I want a clear-eyed woman with as 
few bigotries and shams as may be. You are one and don't even 
know it— I wish I could be as sure about myself. You're lovely 
and sweet and confused, and I " 

He had begun to make love talk, do you see? And, just like him, 
went about it in a way to set your teeth on edge; it was all she 
could do to refrain from walloping him, although she wanted to 
fall into his arms too. But then what had to happen, right at the 
critical moment, tantalizingly short of three little words, but 
that mortifying business with Peteykins! 

The canary had been drowsing on the curtain pole, beguiled by 
the murmuring and by being up late, no doubt, but he had 
stretched a wing with a luxurious yawn and then flown to "The 
Horse Fair" just as Warren had reached a most interesting part of 
his speech. Susan knew what the bird intended and hoped her 
caller would not notice, but how could he help noticing when 
the picture fell down? Many tiltings to clean behind it must have 
weakened the wire, or something; anyhow, fall it did, and so did 
that week's accumulations from Peteykins's visits. 

Susan had hurried to cover the dreadful mess, but Warren had 
asked, "Anything I can do? What's all that?" right over her shoul- 
der. Oh, that man, that Johnny-on-the-spot, that— 

"If you must know everything, Mr. Nosy, I'm cleaning up 
Peteykins's bathroom!" 

Now what was guano, and why did the canary's use of Miss 
Rosa Bonheur's beautiful picture tickle the man? Well, FRID- 
HUMA— Volume Five in her new Chambers— would tell about 
guano, she'd said, but the mention of Chambers had set the vul- 
garian to snickering again. 

He had not returned to the subject of love and ladies, thanks 



72 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

to guano, but he asked if she expected a vacation during the sum- 
mer. 

"The war may make a difference, but I don't know. Why?" 

*Td hke to take you to Lancaster. It's a nice old town, and 
you'd like my dad and mother. Anyhow, think about it, will you? 
Good night, darling." 

And he had caught her astonishingly close and had kissed her 
for keeps before he trotted down the front steps whistling "Don't 
Be Cross." 

. . . Susan felt herself blushing again when her memory reached 
its end, and she dropped a flutter of timecards to the floor. 

"Got the dropsy, Miss Brecht?" Mr. Dungan said as he passed. 

"No, sir." 

. . . How ever had she wondered whether Warren could stir 
her? And how had he been able to withhold that exciting talent 
for kissing? She wasn't a seasoned judge, but by the wisdom of 
the flesh Susan knew quality when she experienced it. . . . Hor- 
rors!— was it possible he had practiced? Gus had said, "The sport 
of love wants learning too, the same as fiddle playing"— who had 
taught Warren to fiddle? He never had hinted. 

Susan Brecht, she told herself firmly, I think you are in love 
and had better admit it. That's what Warren meant about "playing 
hearts," that's what! Drat the Home Joiirnal— he'll get his straight 
answer straightly just as soon as he asks the straight question! 

Warren Spangler floated out of Clarke Davis's office holding one 
of the Big Boss's cigars as Oscar Wilde might have fingered a lily. 
None of the clerks in the managing editor's vicinity paid attention 
to the cigar and miraculous levitation until Warren bumped against 
a female typewriter's desk. She was a plain young woman who 
smelled of pepsin gum, and she looked up curiously at his balmy 
face. 

"Did you hurt yourself?" she asked. 

"Hey?" 

"You gave yourself a clout on the corner of my desk, Mr. 
Spangler. Golly, didn't you notice?" 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 73 

"Fin sorry. Did it mar the finish?'' 

Good Lord, these reporters, she thought— but she smiled to show 
teeth which she knew were excellent, but he only stared at them 
blankly and said: 

"What time is it?" 

"Ten-forty." 

"What day?" 

"Friday." 

"Date, month, and year?" 

"Go roll your hoop!" 

"No, no. I want to impress myself. Please " 

"May sixth, '98. Now, why?" 

"And this is the general ojfEce of the Philadelphia Public Ledger 
—motto: 'Virtue, Liberty, and Independence'?" 

"Do you feel good?" 

"Who am I?" 

"Little Tommy Tucker. Go chase yourself— Fm busy, or should 
be." 

He bent over and kissed her with a loud smack. "God bless us 
all, every one, cried Tiny Tim," Warren said, "and bless you, 
princess, for restoring me to sanity." 

Wheeling like a mechanical soldier, he strode off. The flustered 
typewriter worked a rat back into place in her hair with shaking 
fingers and tugged down her blouse. To her fellow workers she said: 

"Imagine, he said 'sanity'!" 

In the City Room Warren gave Tweed a goose and Picklepuss 
the complimentary cigar. Eventually, when everyone had heard the 
good news, he telephoned the drugstore to leave a message for 
Susan, which caused stormy weeping, and composed a telegram 
for Lancaster which read: 

DEAR folks: will RAP DOOR TOMORROW, STAYING FOR DAY ONLY. 
MUST RETURN SUNDAY FOR PRESSING ENGAGEMENT WITH TRAIN FOR 
TAMPA. SING HEY NONNY NONNY AND A CUBA LIBRE. WARREN. 



<!^^^^r^(L^^^^^(Li^^^^(l^^^^^^CL.^4s^^CLi^^^^CL^^ 



PART II 



1 Spring: Tampa 



i 



li you see it in the Sun, it's so. 

—The New York Sun. 
li you see it in the Sun, you're lucky. 

—The New York Journal. 
We don't know a thing— and doubt if any- 
one else does. 

—The Tampa Times. 



IX 



Mr. Henry Bradley Plant was a lifelong invalid of seventynine 
when the Army moved into his hotel; Colonel Randolph Speer 
Evers had reached sixtythree, his invalidism having been arrested, 
he said, by Echo Springs Sour Mash Whisky and the equable 
climate of Florida. Colonel Evers was a Tampan, but Mr. Plant 
was Tampa. Neither had begun life so; the colonel was a Virginian 
and the magnate a Nutmegger, but this kind of circumstance is 
normal among Floridians. Both wore the white mustaches, black 
slouch hats, and string ties so often associated with Ol' Massa, and 
bowed to each other on the street occasionally. 

However, where Mr. Plant of Connecticut had achieved intimacy 
with Jefferson Davis, the colonel's nearest association with a Yankee 
had been over the sights of a rifle. Besides his mammoth hotel 
Mr. Plant possessed a railroad, a steamship line, and money by the 
satchel; Colonel Evers had a rusty orange grove, two women in 
his family, and a nightmare. 

Damyankees had not burned him out of Richmond. Those fires 
had been set by drunken local whoresons in April of '65, but the 
house of his fathers still crashed into its cellar during the colonel's 
sleep. Appomattox, and that whoosh of sparks, and the knowledge 
that his son was a cinder somewhere amid the coals had ended the 
importance of living for Speer Evers, but though an era died, his 
body and cough survived. His father-in-law installed him in Florida 
on profits made by trading with the enemy during the War Be- 



78 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

tween the States, but Speer had become indifferent even to the 
source of his capital. He built a house on Hillsborough Bay with 
a view of some palmettos on a tidal flat, and with total abstrac- 
tion watched the water, the mosses, and the summer storms from 
its windows as the years wheeled on. 

He consecrated a room to the little boy who tried to save his 
cat from burning; its furnishings, except for a few scurfy toys re- 
maining from the sixties, were what Philip's parents believed their 
dead son would have chosen if he had grown up, and above the 
doorway the colonel cut lines adapted from classic epitaph: 

Randolph Speer, the Father, hid Here the seven 
years old Child, his High Hope, Philip. 

No one used The Boy's room, and alcohol and time eventually 
persuaded Speer that the shrine was empty; but Genevieve Evers 
maintained it still, because she was ceremonious as naturally as a 
leaf grows green or a dog draws fleas. 

Speer Evers was not really a colonel. He had been a captain of 
Confederate cavalry on sick leave when General Weitzel's blue- 
coats had marched into burning Richmond, but his wife later gave 
Speer his promotion, "because anybody knew he would have been 
at least a colonel if the rest of the South hadn't left Virginia to 
carry on a war they'd lost." Speer accepted the brevet without 
argument, devoting his energies to bourbon whisky and a literary 
effort which had mounted to nine foolscap volumes by May of 
1898. Memories oi GenL Lee and Others was his Penelopean web; 
no end was in sight nor publication planned, but the colonel took 
the precautions dear to diarists. He wrote all coarser words, for 
instance, in capital Greek letters: Lincoln was a NirrEP niMII, 
Grant a BASTAPA, Sheridan a T7PA, and so on. Plain talk about 
his wife's family he kept under a loose board in the attic. 

Genevieve seldom saw him, because Speer withdrew to the 
attic when she opened fire, which usually was on sight. In his 
''tow'ah den" he wrote, and frequently slept too, since Genevieve 
could not abide the aroma of Echo Springs Sour Mash nor the 
Sen-Sen which he thought purified his breath. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 79 

The tower literally was Speer's den, for he showed his rickety 
teeth if it were invaded. Generally, however, he was undisturbed 
there, with his desk, couch, lamp, and an oil painting of Genl. 
Lee done from the Arlington Brady photograph by a maiden aunt 
who also painted lifelike wax fruit. Only on the lower floors did 
his v^fe harry him, since futility of utterance never stopped Gene- 
vieve when she desired to utter. As a member of the Anti-Saloon 
League and of the Methodist Church (South) militant, Speer was 
her crown of thorns; if she could not win him to the Fountain that 
never runs dry, she was not going to let him go to hell relaxed. 
To avoid her jawing the colonel fled upstairs, to add new para- 
graphs to Genl. Lee and Others and think on the days when towers 
had portcullises and moats. 

Mrs. Evers harangued their daughter too. 

"After two years of widow's weeds you ought to be married again, 
because that's Nature and-a one year is long enough to mourn 
socially, although between us there's no use pretending you were 
heartbroken over Howard Joe, for you weren't and we know you 
weren't, so-a you better just leave off combing your hair and dilly- 
dallying, because when a woman is thirtythree she hasn't a minute 
to squander unless she wants to dry up and blow away. . . . Are 
you paying mind to me, Rowena Evers?" 

To the Saxons, Rowena meant "white mane," and her name 
fitted her blondeness as her mother scarcely could have hoped 
when she selected it from Ivanhoe. Her father had been weeping 
when she was conceived and was drunk when she was born, and 
because she was a quiet child who kept out of his sight, there had 
been days when he came to with a start and wondered who she was. 
Rowena grew tall, and her sea-green eyes and provocative walk set 
other men wondering too; watching her undulate across a floor 
suggested harem fountains, transparent black silk, and the scent 
of aloes on the night, but in reality her mind was the only Saharan 
thing about Rowena. 

She was a placid puss, now about ready to ignore parental ad- 
vice as unconcernedly as once she had listened. Ten years before, 
Genevieve had married her off without ruffling her daughter's calm, 



8o THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

choosing one Howard Joe Bates, a substantial, if aging, widower. 
But the assets of Bates & Co., Importers, were partitioned during 
the Panic of '93, nor had Howard Joe managed the business of 
living with his mother-in-law any better. He took up fishing in 
self-defense, but one blistering summer afternoon, after sitting bare- 
headed for hours on a pier, he discovered a better defense. A ciga- 
rerro who had been dozing near by swore that Senor Bates had 
broken his pole over his knees, flung his bait can into the bay and 
himself after it, shouting he would swim to Nueva Orleans. This 
was discounted as a piece of Cuban frivolity. 

Howard Joe washed up near Catfish Point some days later, the 
authorities courteously closed their books on an accidental drown- 
ing, Rowena went into stunning black, and Mrs. Evers enjoyed 
the first few months of mourning better than small boys like to 
sharpen new pencils. Only the colonel grieved, for he had under- 
stood his son-in-law, but since Speer's eyes normally watered quite 
a bit, he did not get credit for his emotion. 

When the juice had been wrung from crape and condolences, 
Genevieve was astounded to hear that her daughter was in no 
scorching hurry to marry again. 

'1 want to get a hold on myself," Rowena had said. 

"Hold? Hold? What nonsense is that?" 

"Just a hold," came the answer, nor could the young woman be 
moved by abuse or tears to add more than, "Howard Joe was a 
nice old codger, but not my idea. Fll take my own counsel next 
time." 

Nothing but shame could come of such naked rebellion, yet 
Genevieve discovered that her once easygoing child would not be 
shaken. As candidly as a mother can, Genevieve attacked her daugh- 
ter's incapacity to choose for herself, and her lack of solid personal 
attractions. Rowena fooled with a mandolin, could stitch applique 
on anything, and made a great hoopla of hairbrushing. The vain 
thing had no other beguilements unless you counted an ability 
to plug the eye out of a squirrel at ninety feet— a talent you could 
guarantee was useless, coming from her father. 

"Lazy, that's what you are, just satisfied to sit around and fill up 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 8i 

hair jars! You could study genealogy, or take up with the Daughters 
of the Confederacy, or broaden your mind with W.C.T.U. work, 
as I did, but no— no, I don't understand you, Rowena, I voWy be- 
cause in my day a woman who was widowed through no fault of 
her own was actually more desirable because she'd been through 
the mill, so to say, because-a she'd learned about a household and- 
a how to manage niggers and arrange flowers, and-a how to please 
a man in all sorts of ways besides just You-Know- What— even if 
she couldn't bring a dowry from the first husband to the next, 
which I know is a drawback in our case, but-a you're a fine figure 
of a woman in spite of being thirtythree, so-a if you'd set after a 
well-fixed man of good family nobody could say you nay— but this 
peculiar attitude of yours will drive me to my grave, it's getting 
so like that man's in the tower it is, I swear, and-a . . ." 

So on, but Rowena would answer, "Now, now," and flow away 
with her hips making sinuous music, or would go on brushing her 
long hair with a smile for its gleam in the mirror. 

Lately she had gone more often for a drive in the family demo- 
crat, a pink parasol over her and a look of alert vacuity in her eyes. 
The United States had declared war on Spain and deposited sol- 
diers in Tampa to send Rowena a wide selection of husbands, had 
her mother known; the Tampa Bay Hotel was full of dashing men 
from everywhere, anywhere but Tampa. Unfortunately nine 
tenths were Yankee, but there you were — so was the glamorous 
North Yankee, with its shops and theaters and fashionable places 
to be seen in. Women, she had read, were exposing their shoulders 
at the opera, and Rowena knew that herself bare— as far as gentility 
did strip— was a sight worth seeing. She felt that she owed herself 
to more of the world than Tampa. 

One Tuesday in May she paced her carriage about the long 
perimeter of the hotel to watch heads turn and then set off 
for the Port. A bon-voyage mob entangled her democrat there, a 
sway-backed side-wheel steamer being the object of the crowd's 
attention. The boat's whistle frightened her horse, who bucked as 
if he thought the ship was threatening to come after him, walking 
beam, smoke, whistle and all. 



82 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

A young man with a lock of black hair in his eyes soothed the 
horse with knowing hands. He was a tall, wide-shouldered fellow 
with a manner Rowena liked, so she smiled and said: 

'Tm deeply grateful, suh. May I return your favor by offering 
you a ride back into the town?" 

. . . Noblesse oblige, as Papa would say, even though the young 
man was wearing a ridiculous flannel shirt. One owed him thanks, 
and besides, he was quite handsome for a Yankee. 

The Tampa Bay Hotel socked it to Warren from the first. Rock- 
ing chairs! Stretched out a mile, and full of a sitting Standing 
Army! An intuition told him that by the way they rocked and 
talked these officers of the Army were both worried and bored. 
They mumbled and grouched, perspiring plentifully in woolen 
choker collars under the Moorish arches. 

He was eager to get to work— the train had been tedious, but 
he had been too full of anticipations to sleep— and at the desk 
when he registered he inquired for Richard Harding Davis, for 
whom he had a letter from Clarke Davis. 

''I reckon he's down at Port Tampa seeing the Gussie off," the 
room clerk said around a toothpick. ''She's fixing to take guns to 
the Cubians. Highly secret, the paper says. You a reporter too, suh?" 

Once unpacked, Warren shed his Philadelphia clothes for an 
outfit Jacob Reed & Co. had said was what the well-dressed war 
correspondent should wear. Before an hour was out the flannel 
shirt and the laced boots irked him much more than they had the 
window dummy, but Warren forgot to complain months later when 
the day and chance arrived. Many other damnable things made 
him forget. 

He did not find R. H. D. that first exciting day, but find the 
Gussie he did. Gussie was an antique lady who for years had wet 
her bottom in fresh waters, but neither her age nor her peaceful 
career were going to deter Gussie from a fling at salty adventure. 
Painted a gaudy red except for green shutters, she seemed to be 
as contemptuous of the bullets of Spain as a Baptist preacher might 
be of the opinions of Bob Ingersoll. A crowd of the highborn and 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 83 

the low, all familiar with her date with mystery, were at the wharf 
to see her go. The low scratched themselves, cracked peanuts and 
jokes, and broke into jigs and laughter; the wearers of panamas 
and dotted swiss sipped iced tea and jockeyed to fall in step with 
quality one degree higher than themselves. Little boys fell off 
the pier and were fished out of the bath-warm water; little girls 
played hide-and-seek, shrieking like blackbirds; Gibson girls said 
oh-pshaw when their skirts picked up splinters from the planking; 
dandies in straw skimmers twirled their mustaches and studied to 
look rakehell. Dogs fought, babies cried, comets blew, fish gurry 
stunk, and gulls and pelicans stopped in to see what was going on. 

People threw cakes to the tanned regulars leaning over Gussie*s 
rail and called out encouragements. An old fellow in a carefully 
patched Confederate uniform shook his blackthorn stick toward 
Cuba and yelled: 

"Knock seven bells out of them, lads! Yip-yip-yip-yipe-e-e!" 

Warren grinned, thinking how nice for an old grayback to give 
the yell of '61 for the bluecoats, and half wondering if the old man 
himself was conscious of being picturesque. He said as much to 
a young man sitting on a piling. 

The man was lean, of middling height, carelessly dressed, and 
rather broody-looking, but Warren liked his clean-cut nose and 
the intense blue eyes above it. When he spoke, his accent was 
northern. 

''Uh-huh. One big happy country," the man said. "The pelicans 
have been reconstructed and the gulls are American too." 

Warren stared at him. He had judged from the ragged condition 
of the young man's mustache that he might hear a comment useful 
for "color," but you couldn't use sardonics in wartime. 

"Well," Warren said a trifle uncomfortably, "will the Gussie's 
people do what they're out to do?" 

"Don't know. Do you?" 

"I— do you think they'll find Garcia?" 

"Maybe. They'll surely bump into Spaniards, though, because 
that's not what they're after." 

"How so?" 



84 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

"They^re guarding and delivering an arms shipment, not hunt- 
ing a fight. I thought everyone knew that. It's been extremely con- 
fidential—they boarded in the dead of night, too, or hadn't you 
gotten your morning paper?" 

''No, I didn't know that." 

''Now you do. You can report it to Madrid." 

Warren laughed. "Do I look like a spy? I'm just a Philadelphia 

reporter who " He stopped. Who was interviewing whom 

here? . . . 

The hawk's eyes over the chiseled nose pinned him. "A likely 
story. I believe you're from Moose Jaw." 

"Nope. Nor from Medicine Hat, either. What the " 

"Damn, and I so wanted to catch a spy myself," the young man 
said. "They collared one here from Moose Jaw recently. Swore he 
was innocent, of course, but— Moose Jaw! Well!" 

"Maybe he was from Moo Never mind." Warren felt pleas- 
antly giddy. "Anyhow, all these people here could be spies. This 
junket has been publicized enough." 

The young man spat into the sparkling bay. 

"You could be one, Gonzalez!" Warren added. 

''Si, sir 

They both grinned, and the man with the moth-eaten mustache 
said, "What paper did you say?" 

"I didn't say, but it's the Public Ledger. My name's Spangler." 

"Damngood paper. How's old Oh, hey! Hey, Bonsai! Archi- 
bald!" 

A party of civilians were boarding the ship, some wearing solar 
topees, one or two carrying drawing boards, all bearing themselves 
with casual purpose. Reporters and sketch artists, Warren realized 
when he took up mental slack. Bonsai was the man who had been 
all over hell and Siam; Archibald, Archibald— no, that name es- 
caped Warren; but the heavy-set fellow with the boater, wasn't he 
the famous Frederic Remington? 

"See you," said the hawk-eyed man, going away. 

He skipped agilely through the crowd toward the gangplank. A 
strange hairpin, Warren mumbled, but he envied his acquaintance 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 85 

with the greats of newspaperdom and briefly wondered if he; too, 
was one. 

A dark-skinned httle man at his elbow suddenly erupted and 
shook a Cuban flag. "Viva Jos soldados amciicanos! Viva los Esta- 
dos Unidos! Viva Cuba! Vi-i-va-a!" 

As if it were a prearranged signal, Gussie answered with a whistle 
blast and everybody viva-ed and whoopee-ed. The ship's ropes were 
cast off and the old girl paddled slowly away from the dock like 
a fat red duck. Hats and handkerchiefs went crazy, a knot of school- 
girls on the brink of tears sang "Onward, Christian Soldiers," the 
wailing babies redoubled their efforts to outdo Gussie's hooting, 
and most of the departing First Infantry looked embarrassed. Be- 
hind Warren a horse snorted his intention of leaving the pandemo- 
nium. 

Warren's reflexes, conditioned by years of cultivating police 
horses, made him reach into a pocket for an apple. Recollecting, 
he caught the curb rein and stroked the horse's nose to assure him 
that a man could protect him from a steamboat any day. 

He told the driver, "If you wait till the crowd thins out he'll be 
all right. I'll stick around to steady him if you want." 

Rowena said, "I'm deeply grateful, suh. May I return your favor 
by offering you a ride back into the town?" 

"D-dandy," Warren said, and grinned. "That'll save four bits 
on the swindle sheet, and the company— y-yours, I mean— will be— 
uh— s-select." 

. . . Rowena, did he hear it right— Rowena Bates? Now if that 
little red tub with the green shutters had to have a feminine name 
for martial endeavor, why had it to be Gussie? Gussie was a dirty 
face and pigtails— why not Rowena, far more stately to launch 
one of a thousand ships and burn the topless towers of . . . 

Oh yes. Miss Bates, the Tampa Bay Hotel. . . . No, just arrived 
—Philadelphia. . . . Yes, there's some nice country around there, 
but Florida looks interesting too. ... Is it always just nicely warm 
like this? . . . 



86 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 



(Extracts from Warren Spangler's notebook and from an article 
sent to his newspaper.) 

ril bet this is the damnedest war that ever was! Gilbert and 
Sullivan could do an operetta on it easily. 

General Wade is back in command. Nothing unusual on the 
face of that except that it was unintentional — he was ''inadvert- 
ently" promoted over the head of Shafter! To further complicate 
matters, a wispy Santa Glaus named Wheeler has turned up, also 
with the stars of a major general; he is the man who took over Jeb 
Stuart's Rebel cavalry when Sheridan killed Jeb in '64. So now 
while the War Department gnaws its problem of button, button, 
who's the commanding general, the G.G.s and their staffs clank 
about in the corridors trying to ignore one another and bowing 
correctly when mutual myopia just won't wash. (Later: just heard 
Shafter again is top dog as of yesterday. Wade's going to Ghicka- 
mauga.) 

Tampa is a funneled fish trap. No living soul once arrived ever 
will get out. Guns, crates, mules have clogged the dinky railroads 
as far north as Golumbia, S.G., but somehow soldiers keep coming 
in to begin drilling under a scorching sun. Nobody tells them 
where to bivouac; they arrive and wander about until they find a 
spot in the scrub to light. Delivered like freight by carriers who 
owe no responsibility to the Army over any other consignor, they 
are scattered over miles of pine barrens, shoeless, unarmed, tent- 
less, hungry, and damning the bugs and wishing they were generals 
or dead. ... 

God! Dewey didn't lose a solitary man or ship at Manila! The 
official word just came through. Imagine— he broke off the fight 
three hours for breakfast and returned to the pigeon shoot with 
a full stomach and clean guns. Those foreign reports of our hun- 
dreds of casualties in an ''inconclusive engagement" must have 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 87 

been wishful thinking on Europe's part. . . . Except for England 
and Holland, they all hate us— Susie writes that Philadelphia 
women have formed a boycott of Paris styles to pay off the French 
for offensive sympathy with Spain. . . . 

(Tampa, May 21— Special to the Public Ledger) : While the 
Navy k swatting the Dons by sea the Army is slapping mosquitoes. 
. . . Troops bulge Tampa's seams; before April there could not 
have been more than 8,000 people in the city, black, white, and 
brindle, but now it is an anthill oi regulars from Plains stations 
and volunteers irom everywhere. Confusion marks their ar- 
rival. . . . 

A tropic sun wallops Tampa with no poetic pretense oi "kiss- 
ing." Houses are ramshackle, and the few which once may have 
boasted paint have had it tortured off by sun and sand. As one 
of the soldiers puts it, "Every now and then the next county blows 
by— then there's a hot calm, and bye-and-bye here she comes again 
from f other way and Polk County goes back where she came 
from. Boy, how I wisht I was back at the good, old, foggy Presidio 
in Friscor 

Tampa's streets are sand, although there has been talk of packing 
them with an aluminum clay from Bartow. They are unlighted at 
night, and the swamp creatures frolic; to quote the soldier, "A 
man feeling his way back from a ginmill in this burg stands a fair 
chanct of seeing real snakes and alligators/" 

However, if the town itself is primitive and shabby, the Tampa. 
Bay Hotel, where the Fifth Corps headquarters is located, is six 
acres of Bagdad-in-brick and stuffed with objets d'art— a "veritable 
wilderness" of them, its advertising circular says truthfully. We 
work surrounded by Japanese rose jars four feet tall, Delft porce- 
lains, Hepplewhite chairs. Napoleons own clock, and the jewel 
cabinet of Mary, Queen of Scots . . . 

. . . not forgetting native American products like roaches and 
a dollar-sized spider who shells them daintily. The only other 
strictly American feature is the plumbing, for which Allah— who 
designed the Tampa Bay, I think— be praised. The thirteen silver 
minarets of our immense paynim boardinghouse jut up among 
palms and flowers which are Florida's glory: royal poinciana, jac- 



88 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

aranda, flame vine, hibiscus— their very names flash orange, blue, 
and scarlet. The chameleons must have to hump to keep up with 
the grandeur. I wonder what happened to that curious little cha- 
meleon who climbed over my sill and ate a piece of eraser? . . . 

Except old Joe Wheeler, most of the ranking pooh-bahs of the 
corps are roughing it here among the bronzes and leering at Venus 
at her Bath in Carrara marble. "Fighting Joe" prefers a tent in the 
scrub, with the bugs and night damps and cavalry, a choice very 
spirited of the old boy but not a credit to his sense at his age, R. 
H. Davis says. . . . 

Life at the hotel has hecome domestic. Many correspondents' 
wives have joined them, and theii husbands, who were at first 
ready to rough it, have gone hack into Unen suits and neckties. 
Campaign clothing of khakil (a Biitish-Indian woid for *'mud- 
coloied') are less on view because of the ladies who swarm. Now 
dinner jackets are desirable in the evening, after a desperate day 
at ping-pong and shufReboard. 

Another hoard continues to be interesting^ oi course: the hotel 
bulletin board, which reporters haunt because it gives the ''pre- 
dicted movements'' for the Army. So far it has registered only 
routine shufRes of troops among Chickamauga Park, Jacksonville, 
Lakeland, and here, and occasionally carries an anonymous hit of 
foolery like: 

The government censor in Fla. 
Could hardly be very much ha. 
Now and then, if you hark 
You will hear a remark. 
Than which nothing ever was ta. 

. . . Caspar Whitney calls it a "yellow bulletin board" because 
its discrepancies— kind word— remind him of the New York World 
or Boston Herald. Still, we have no other waming against being 
caught with our laundry unmobilized in case of war. . . . 

Susie may throw a cat fit if I mention the Widow Bates, but 
on the other hand she wouldn't believe me if I said I hadn't met 
any women. So Fll come clean in advance of a slip of the tongue 
later. . . . Some women can spot signs of age about one another, 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 89 

like crow's-feet and crepy elbows, but Fm lucky if I can guess an 
age within a decade. Rowena is older than I, I think, because at 
times she carries a look in her eyes that was hoary when stone for 
the Pyramids was quarried. Man hunger— but not the careless kind. 
It entertains me to watch how the older men, particularly, pant 
after her; you can almost see their batteries recharging when she 
dances with them. ... 

The troops on Picnic Island and Tampa Heights play hasehall 
with local teams and one another. In passing, one should wain 
that ''heights'' in Florida terrain are not Andean— any wart of 
ground ten ieet above sea level will do. . . . 

When I met Stephen Crane I did not know him. I still don't, 
but I like him, because he's vital, retiring, and unpretentious. 
He has a caustic tongue for pompous idiots which I admire; the 
other day while we were walking through the camps we overheard 
one of the volunteer colonels lecturing his troops on the sanctity 
of all constituted authority, et cetera, et cetera, his manner rather 
than his warmed-over philosophies being as stuffy as any assistant 
office manager's. Steve said, "1 wrote a verse about him once. 

''A man said to the universe: 
'Sir, J exist!' 

'However/ replied the universe, 
'The iact has not created in me 
A sense of obligation.' " 

He's full of surprises, one minute esthetic as hell, and the next 
confessing he can't read this or that classic because some of them 
''go on and on like Texas." He cropped up yesterday with another 
talent; we had watched a ball game between a doughboy team 
and the Tampa Grays at Ballast Point and borrowed a bat and 
ball afterward for a pickup game— Etaoins vs. Shrdlus, of course. 
Crane was the only sparkle on the diamond— how should I have 
guessed he'd almost turned professional once? 

I see little of the famous R. H. D. He's not Olympian exactly, 
but he keeps to old stagers in the business— Remington, Scovel, 
Fox, Akers of the London Times, and Rouse of the N. Y. 



90 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

Times (all God's chillun got Times-es) . In his lofty way Davis was 
kind to me when I presented his father's letter, and advised me 
on a field kit. Fm waiting before buying a horse until the traders on 
the Tampa Bay lawn get over their delusions that all their nags 
are Typhoon lis, and I also mistrust binoculars that come fiom a 
drugstore. Some of the boys, though, will have to charter special 
steamers to carry their gear and souvenirs if we stay here much 
longer. . . . 

Davis is just as handsome as Charles Dana Gibson draws him, 
cleft chin and all, and togs himself nobbily even in knockabouts. 
Aside from R. H. D. there isn't an American in town who could 
get away with knickers, topped off by a Homburg with a spiffy 
feather in the band. He carries gloves too. 

But Davis at his starriest can't match the foreign attaches. Their 
uniforms must break the jealous hearts of every homebred Knight 
of Pythias. . . . The German is a towering fellow with a monocle 
and dueling scars and pointed beard just like a character out of 
cartoons, whom Crane convinced he was truly an American coolie 
—Steve's clothes look it— and would the count be pleased to be 
towed to dinner in a rickshaw? Crane dropped the shafts with a 
thump that jinged von Goetzen's medals when they had a last- 
minute "argument" over the fare, and the count threatened to 
cut Steve into fillets. He was restrained. 

The rickshaws are not museum pieces, but are used in peacef uller 
times to convey eldeily ladies to their meals down the long north 
corridor. Underfoot is a wonderful red India carpet with British 
royal lions figured on it in blue. Since nothing is improbable about 
the Tampa Bay, one believes that it belonged to Queen Vic- 
toria. . . . 

Poultney Bigelow says she refused delivery of the carpeting when 
she reconsidered: what, should Englishmen walk on their national 
beast? So old Mr. Plant, that cosmic pack rat, fetched it in for his 
dream castle. If Vic was perturbed that Stretch Spangler might 
scuff the imperial cats, she also must have felt there was no sense 
wasting the goods, either. Any housewife could see her point. . . . 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 91 

Rickshaws, royal rugs— and jasmine on the salt air which blows 
"sweeter than the less criminal forms of sin" into my bedroom 
window at night. Yet across the river you can tell at a whiE that 
Tampa has no sewers; a drought hangs on, so the atmosphere 
grows more miasmic daily. Tampans must yearn for the cool Klon- 
dike somebody named Rex Beach is writing about in a series of 
"bright letters" to a local paper. ... 

I get tired of squeezing the same old lemons day after day: 
"Hello, soldier, where are you from? . . . You don't say! . . . 
Well, well, Fm from Philamaclink myself. What's your name, unit, 
and home address? . . . How do you like the Army? . . . Hey, 
I can't print that!" So you have to write a lot of swill about . . . 

How hiown and hard the troops are getting! The regulars, of 
course, are accustomed to the outdoors, hut the volunteers also 
thrive on hesh air and the regimen oi the bugle. New Yorkers and 
Philadelphians complain there are too many beans, but Bostonians 
are content. . . . Sankey, the evangelist, is in town. Besides tighten- 
ing their muscles, many oi the men are strengthening the cords of 
the spirit. Sickness oi any kind is rare, whether oi body or soul. . . . 

A soldier died of typhoid recently, which is disturbing enough^ 
but the attitude of one reporter chilled me: "A regular, wasn't he? 
Then my paper won't consider his death newsworthy— that's what 
he was paid to expect." If, as Crane sarcastically says, newspapers 
are "the wisdom of the age," ours is a callous one. There will be 
thousands of fatalities before long, but the impact of the first 
deaths is sharper— shock sickens of itself when death becomes 
arithmetic. No casualty is a statistic, but a man. Crane smiled 
when I said this and showed me a line in a book by John Donne 
which he thinks he'll never finish: "Every man is a peece of the 
Continent, a part of the maine." The Maine, indeed! . . . 

Rougher elements among the soldiery are indifferent to religion, 
but the local lodge oi F. & A. Elbowbenders has a large military 
chapter which conducts services in places like the White Rose, 
''Headquarters for U. S. Regulars— See the Red, White, and Blue 
Lights at 21^ Laiayette Street.'' Inspired by this patriotic boozing. 



92 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

they riot with the town police. . . . Thieves, confidence men, 
speak-easy operatoTs, and punks ioUow armies Uke carrion crows, 
and hiawUng is inevitable in theii train. . . . 

Some of the donnybrooks are comic, others not so. Of the 
former kind was the shooting at what the local Times delicately 
called a ''resort'' kept by Alice May Somebody at Central and 
Polk. Alice May got a slug in the leg; Lizzie seized a drunken 
doughboy's revolver and shot him in the hand; Nina, a third joy- 
girl, locked herself in a closet to pray ''to a Friend with whom she 
had not been on speaking terms for years." The Times reporter 
had a jocular interview with Alice May, for he asked her such 
questions as whether she suspected the nasty men of being "rough 
riders." 

On the other hand, Jim Crow breeds ugly incidents, when so 
many of the regulars here are colored. A local blowhard got a punch 
in the eye he richly deserved for calling a sergeant "yellow— you 
damn niggers can't fight!" The Negro happened to be both sensi- 
tive and a holder of the D.S.C. Then there was a tense whoop- 
de-do in the Fort Brooke section when cavalrymen broke into a 
jail at pistol point. Led by white officers, they released a fellow 
trooper who had been clapped into the pokey for insisting on buy- 
ing soda water— he swore it was— at a "White Only" place. I am 
confused and embarrassed by all this, and hate it spontaneously 
without knowing why, or how to answer the sweetly reasonable 
people who say they like the niggers when they keep their place. 
That "place" seems to be the bottom, with no real chance of ris- 
ing; it's the same thing in the North, more piously concealed. As a 
matter of fact, the places referred to in those typically southern 
words, "Jim Crow" (from Tuckahoe) and "Dixie" (Dixius's land 
—belonging to a Hudson Valley patroon), both are a few miles 
north of New York City. I realize this gem of useless information 
only helps to cloud the air, but someday somebody smarter than 
I is going to have to clear it. . . . 

Quiet Tampa probably never will be the same again, nor its 
grandiose hotel ever again see the splashy color of May 1898. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 93 

Cowboys, priests, tmlls, men of all the wide earth; shouts, pray- 
ers, shots; the endless rumble oi wagons, the crackling white uni- 
iorms oi nurses; famous personages and criminals — all will vanish 
when our expedition has gone. Afterward the evenings again will 
become the property oi the cantantes callejeros roaming up from 
Ybor City, plunking tunes on their guitars that the old cow died 
oi. The bewildered citizens will watch us go with relief and, I 
think, regret. Regimental bands will play in the hotel rotunda no 
more; the grand orchestrion will regale the seasonal visitors oi 
peacetime with tunes on its rollers instead. The ballroom surely 
will seem subdued, and the couplet oi Heine's on a painting above 
the musicians' gallery may lose its carefree pertinence: 

li you dont like wine, women, and song, 
Youll be a boob your whole Hie long. 

. . . Incongruous as it seems, this is wartime. . . . 

I stood on the piazza with a group of officers last night during 
a dance. Looking in the windows at the crowded, brilhant ball- 
room, I remembered the soiree in Brussels that Thackeray said was 
held the night before Waterloo. One of our army bands was doing 
what it could with a waltz while the assembly whirled and swayed. 
There were red tunics and tailcoats, jack boots, sashes, and cum- 
merbunds, bronze medals, silver swords, and gold braid. There were 
blue and pink organdies, silk slippers, opal rings and topaz neck- 
laces, perfumes from spirits and tropical flowers. Laughing couples 
rose from antique pouf chairs to stroll the gardens or refresh at 
punch bowls, while over all the chandeliers sprinkled diamonds. 

One tough old Indian fighter in our group looked in at the com- 
pany through a lace curtain, set down a glass of iced tea to light 
a fresh cigar. 

As he puffed he said, "Yes, gentlemen, as Sherman truly said- 
war is hell." 



XI 

It was a dewy June morning, but the column of troopers who 
dismounted behind the Tampa Bay Hotel were soiled, and free- 



94 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

spoken about their condition. They had been deposited before 
dawn in a wilderness behind Ybor City five miles from the hotel, 
after a bruising trip of five eternities from Texas. Although even 
their horses had bags under their eyes, at least they had eaten from 
forage the Rough Riders had stowed in the aisles of their own 
coaches. Much of the gear of the men, however, including rations 
and mess kits, had been switched off somewhere more convenient 
for rattlesnakes and mockingbirds; Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt 
had given the train crew hark-from-the-tomb when he had found 
out about the baggage, and his irritation may have sprung from 
self-annoyance over not having required all personal equipment 
kept close by every man. But, as Major Brodie said, "The coloneFs 
a daisy, and don't you forget it," for he shared their miseries; he 
had relinquished his sleeping berth to a sick trooper and had sat 
up on the stiff seats with the others, whiling away the jolting hours 
by reading La Superiorite des Anglo-Saxons. 

After picketing their horses, the men pitched tents. Trooper 
Hawkins of L broke out his shelter half and lashed it with his 
bunkie's. Trooper Bigod of Rosebud, Montana. The ground was 
sheeted with water, for Florida's drought had broken with a tow- 
row of storms lasting a week before the Rough Riders arrived. 

Caleb damned the wet, the sand, the insects, and the lady an- 
cestors of all railroaders and army officers, and when he had emp- 
tied his pitcher he sighed. 

"Horace, which way can we drain this pond of ours? The ground 
is flatter than a two-dollar trombone." 

Trooper Bigod pounded his thumb instead of a tent peg, but 
merely sucked in his breath, which proved he had not been bom 
a Christian. 

"Once we're ofiE duty that hotel might serve us a meal," Caleb 
said. "That is, if officer rank and clean shirts are not requisite." 
The dark-skinned trooper still said nothing, so Caleb went on, "I 
haven't had a decent meal since our last blowout at the Menger 
in San Anton', nor a sound sleep, nor a bath. And even my spit's 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 95 

got saddlesores. . . . Listen to me, you noble savage, or say some- 
thing!" 

Horace Bigod squinted at the silver onions on the towers of 
Mr. Plant's tourist Alhambra. "'Constantinople, after a stirring 
siege, fell to the Turks in 1453/ " he quoted in a high singsong. 
"I learned that at Carlisle, but they never said the Turks got to 
Tampa. Grab that tent rope and pull!" 

Being more or less accustomed to his bunkie after three weeks 
of army marriage to him, Caleb grinned and went to work. 

They had been introduced the way the Army conducts such 
formalities: "Fall in! Tall ones on the right, runts on the left. . . . 
Goddamit, Hawkins, don't you know the left cheek of your butt 
from the right? . . . Te-n-n-shut/ Now, all you monkeys' abor- 
tions try to remember the man on your left— left, Hawkins! He's 
your mate for shelter-tent drill. At ease! Take a look at him." 

Horace Bigod was majestically ugly. His father, subchief Breaks- 
the-Pot-on-Him, of the Oglala Sioux, had been a homely man, but 
Horace's inheritance had been touched up by smallpox and foot- 
ball. The eagle beak of the Oglalas now was canted permanently 
left on his face as the result of trying to break up the "guards 
back" ferocity of T. Truxton Hare of the University of Pennsylva- 
nia, who outweighed Horace by forty pounds, and his face and 
neck were waffled with pockmarks. His eyes were basalt, set as 
close together as goobers in a shell; his hands were scoops, but in 
later years Caleb could not recall ever having seen his bunkie drop 
anything, or stumble on his small feet. Like "Ruby Robert" Fitzsim- 
mons. Trooper Bigod was a smooth bear from the waist up and 
skinny as a leper below. 

"We may as well introduce ourselves," Caleb said the day they 
first had fumbled with dog tents. "I am Caleb Hawkins of Phila- 
delphia." When he got no instant reply, Caleb added, "You savvy 
United States?" 

"Heap savvy, Foureyes," the Indian had said after studying 
Caleb's face. "My name is Horace Bigod— got the Horace off a 
blackboard before I could read and the Bigod from a book when 
I learned. My real name is Two Strikes, which I hear is laughable. 



96 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

I am twentyfive, unmarried, and all that I am or ever hope to be 
I owe to Captain Pratt of Carlisle Institute, who makes tinsmiths 
out of savages. I think Hiawatha is dandy reading, but the first 
bald white man I ever saw made me vomit. I was baptized into the 
holy Christian Church of Protestant Episcopacy, but I still think 
the Sioux are sensible in refusing to allow a wife's mother to talk 
to her son-in-law. That idea is good— for instance, you talk too 
damn much!" 

Caleb's easy tongue had failed him cold. 

But then most things were surprises these days. When he had 
arrived in San Antonio he had discovered that the only billets left 
in the Rough Riders were in the two newly authorized troops from 
Indian Territory, and they were hotly competitive. Some easterners 
as well as western whites were willing to swear that they were as 
red as Crazy Horse, if necessary, to get in. Caleb had set his chin 
and determined to bull through, although the thought of cam- 
paigning with blanket Indians was depressing— they would smell 
of pemmican or stewed dog or whatever beastly stuff it was that 
they loved. However, the day came when an Indian commented on 
the gamy odor of Caleb and showed him how to rub himself down 
with clean sand. 

At the outset, although he was reconciled to serving without 
a commission, as many aristocrats were, Caleb had sought an 
interview with someone in authority, but neither Mr. Roosevelt 
nor the commanding officer could perceive his value instantly. 
The colonel was Leonard Wood, M.D. Harvardiensis — captain, 
U. S. A. Medical Department— Medal of Honor, Apache Cam- 
paign—a rugged, handsome blond not yet forty. Wood's new rank 
had gone to his head, Caleb thought when he was passed along to 
Major Brodie. However, Brodie scarcely glanced over his pince-nez 
before he shunted Caleb to Captain Allyn Capron, commanding 
one of the new troops, who in turn had gotten rid of Caleb to a 
first sergeant named Higgins, who passed him on to . . . 

"Who may you be, sonny?" Corporal Seiffert had asked. 

The corporal was his last hope, Caleb thought, hardly knowing 
whether he was more dizzy or angry. Eventually Caleb learned 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 97 

that corporals are first hopes, but only after Mr. Hawkins had 
become Trooper Hawkins for a while. Seiffert had a fighting 
paunch and hash marks to the elbow; his build was as stylish as a 
tugboat, but his muscles would have excited the admiration of an 
adult rhinoceros. He was happier when he had a pair of refractory 
recruits to deal with— one to each hand balanced better— for he 
failed to see how anybody could get a bang out of one cymbal. 
His favorite method of reproof had earned him the nickname of 
Noodleknocker, or Noodle for short, but no "farmer" with less 
than three hitches in the service dared to presume the familiarity, 
although on occasion the Noodle would permit one to buy him a 
beer. He was a man who knew his dignity because he had earned 
it. 

Seiffert did, however, have a grudging awe of marksmen, for 
after years on desert and plain he still could not hit the floor with 
his alkali-encrusted sombrero. Caleb's talent impressed him, and 
showed when a stumble-footed lot of red men and white were 
consigned to the Noodle by the doctors. 

"You ride, Foureyes?" the corporal asked. 

"Yes, sir. Very well." 

"Can sit a horse," mumbled Seiffert, licking a pencil and mak- 
ing a mark on a paper. "You shoot fine, too, huh?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"Cut the *sir.' You call me 'corporal.' Education?" 

Caleb said he had gone to college and 

"Can read and write," Seiffert said, and made another mark. 
"All right, line up over yonder with the rest of them mothers' 
joys." 

He hiked them to a clearing on the Exposition Grounds, where 
Captain Capron, a noted rider himself, was testing the horseman- 
ship of men who had forked saddles shortly after some neighbor 
women had slapped breath into them; at a distance another group 
in charge of gaitered regulars were firing at targets. Men hunkered 
near both proving grounds awaiting their turns and chewing to- 
bacco or grass-blades. Few resembled Caleb. The Indians, bony- 
faced and gaunt, wore deerskin show clothes hung with quills and 



98 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

claws, and some had red-banded feathers stuck in circlets about 
their heads— Horace told Caleb later that each stripe signified an 
honorable wound. Other bucks mixed frock coats with fringed leg- 
gings, and one had added polish to his finery by wearing a necktie 
without a collar. 

The white men seemed like characters out of Deadwood Dick 
thrillers to Caleb, but for the first time in his sartorially correct life 
he knew that he, and not the other fellow, was out of place and 
odd. Their Stetsons, Colts, and Mexican vests looked proper 
under a brassy Texas sky, he admitted, and he the fool in a tail- 
ored English suit. 

When he rode he could not tell whether he satisfied Capron 
or not, because the burly young captain with sweeping mustachios 
passed no word. He put ten riders at a time through their paces, 
calling orders in a voice which rang like a cornet over the hoofs, 
to trot, canter, turn, and gallop, while a pillar of dust and non-com 
profanity rose over Bexar County. Some who had trouble obeying 
commands quickly, and one who roweled his mount bloody, were 
not passed along to the firing line, so Caleb guessed they had been 
winnowed. 

"Now this here's a rifle," Corporal Seiffert told Caleb. "The 
end with a hole in her lets the bullet fly, but you know all about 
that, because you told me." 

"Well, Corporal, I " 

"Crawfishing, eh? Jawbone sharpshooter, eh? Them glasses of 
yourn " 

"They have nothing to do with my shooting. I've never handled 
a Springfield before. Show me the action, please." 

The Noodle looked at the dude's once bright shoes, his mani- 
cure, his wilted tie, and then at his chin. Then he became busi- 
nesslike. 

"O.K. Here's how " 

After a few sighting shots Caleb rang in ten for ten prone. A 
number of his competitors, bothered by the unfamiliar weapon or 
having been more at home with hand guns, did poorly, but most 
did as well as Caleb and with a casual rapidity that astonished him. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 99 

The westerners did not include Caleb in their friendly libels on one 
another, but the dude's careful precision interested some. 

"On your feet!" 

Only Caleb and two others, an Indian and a cowboy with cro- 
quet-wicket legs, shot perfect scores standing, and something like 
envy flitted across Seiffert's broad face. He whispered with the 
sergeant in charge, a dour man with ginger hair and a freshly boiled 
look whom he called Chisholm. 

"As I call your names form a single line to the right of this 
table," the sergeant shouted. "Men whose names I don't call re- 
port back to the sergeant major. Porter—Carroll— Zeigler— Car- 
mack— Hawkins . . ." 

Caleb felt manlier being chosen with the select than ever he 
had since the first time a girl had moaned, "Oh, Caleb, you're so 
strong!" 

Sergeant Chisholm said, when his tum came, "We'll continue 
on with you tomorrow, Hawkins. If you still want to join up, sign 
this paper, here." 

Already Caleb had found that the Army meant papers as much 
as bullets, so he signed, here. Chisholm initialed the sheet and 
then made a mistake by asking the recruit how he had learned to 
shoot. The sergeant even smiled. 

Caleb answered casually. What he said was truth, but he should 
have suppressed it until his hearers were prepared, since some 
truths are like that. 

"Quite easily after I burned a blind spot in one eye. Really 
nothing I can take credit for." 

The quiet was loud for a moment. 

"Mister, in the Army when you're asked a question '* 

Caleb interrupted. "But that's the fact! I looked at an eclipse 
of the sun through a home-smoked glass when I was a child and 
burned a dead spot in the retina of my right eye. It makes aim- 
ing a cinch, naturally." 

"Naturally," Chisholm said, and turned to Seiffert. "Am I the 
only one that's dumb around here? What's he talking about?" 

The Noodle glowered at Caleb, feeling somehow responsible for 



loo THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

him. He already had planned to get the Indian, the warped cow- 
boy, and this sharpshooting dude in his own squad and was think- 
ing of sucker bets he could win, but now another idea seized him 
. . . and his hands closed slowly in reflex. 

"I don't know" was all he said, however. 

Chisholm faced Caleb again. "Now let's get down to tacks. I 
ask you friendly-like how you learn to shoot, and you tell me it's 
easy because you're blind in the peeper you sight with." Sweet 
fellowship fled his voice suddenly; he exploded with a bang which 
tilted the eavesdroppers back on their high boot heels. ''Now 
talk, you hy-blow son oi a polecat.^ What the hell do you think Fm 
running around heie^ a goddam minstrel show?'' 

Caleb talked. ''Sir— Corp— I mean Sergeant— I wasn't kidding! 
I'm not blind— just in a spot. It lines up dead center— when I 
draw a bead, that is— and when the sights and the spot line up, 
that's it! I mean, when I can't see either the front sight or the rear 
sight or the bull's-eye, I let fly— and I hit the target because I can't 
see it. No— I mean— well, how can I make it plainer? Look— I'll 
diagram it. See now, I " 

Men who had been attracted by the sergeant's scream studied 
Caleb, who perspired. The freak fascinated the Indians, one of 
whom made as if to touch the eye in question, but the cowpokes 
and gunmen winked at one another and rolled their quids. . . . 
They appreciated a tall yarn as good as the next hombre, but this 
army foreman, he cain't. . . . 

Somebody snickered, and Chisholm's face paled almost to its 
original shade of scarlet. "That'll be all!" he said, thrusting 
Caleb's diagram away. "That— will— be— alJ/" he told the onlookers, 
and embellished his opinion with remarks to which they listened 
with reverence. 

When he could see again, Chisholm told Seiffert, "Corporal, 
if this high-collared, four-eyed, kink-headed son ever is took into 
this outfit, I want you to see that the thrushfoot's learned/" 

Even one of the Indians, a certain Mister Eleven, who was so 
unmatchable a marblehead that Troop L became proud of him, 
understood vaguely what the sergeant meant by "learned." 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD loi 

Under Seiffert's instruction afterward Caleb often wished he 
never had left home. One of the most overpowering arguments in 
favor of the universal peace his Quaker forebears wanted, he came 
to believe, was that corporals would have to line up for soup and 
a handout with their employment gone. The rest of the Noodle's 
squad thought so too— it was one of the few original common 
grounds to all. 

None except Caleb had been born east of Genoa, Kansas; the 
track, polo, crew, and football stars of the East were in other 
troops, notably K. In the Noodle's squad of L only three were 
athletes in the gamester sense, Caleb, Horace Bigod, and Fred 
Murray, but the rest had the unlearnable co-ordination of pumas. 
Murray, who strummed a g'it-tar and whined songs about people 
who went to Denver or went wrong, had played baseball. He told 
Caleb 'twa'nt no trick pitching for the Chloride Salts down in 
Arizona, because in the first place Chloride wa'an't such a big 
place, and in the second there wa'an't nobody else loco enough 
to work that hard. He also could convert a deuce into a perfect 
trey with his Colt ''about from boardwalk to hitchin' post acrost 
the street," and gloried in the nickname of Rattlesnake Fred, since 
he bragged one had bitten him, back a spell, and had cashed in. 

The bowlegged whiffet who had shot a perfect offhand score 
with the Springfield was a Wells, Fargo shotgun rider named Smoky 
Stu Woodruff, whose boast was that he could ride the most 
vicious or ''smoky" horse ever foaled. The sturdy curves of his legs 
made him center rush when Troop L horsed around at football, 
but his playmates always had to be sure Smoky had removed his 
spurs. One day they admonished him in a horse trough because he 
had climbed, still beautifully booted and jingling, to the peak of a 
human pyramid during calisthenics. 

Tex Kingsland was a cadaverous individual "roughly nine foot, 
and no thicker'n a quirt" who ate and slept for three. He was the 
most motionless unpetrified thing on earth, but was a blur when 
answering chow call. The puckered scar on his cheek, he said, was 
the result of being mistaken for a fence post by a wire-stringing 
gang, but sometimes his mates heard he'd gotten it in a Dallas 



102 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

goose ranch during an argument with the piano player. They had 
disagreed who was going to play on the black keys and who on the 
white, so the piano player had tooken a chaw on Tex. 

Others of the squad who went to Cuba included Faro Frank 
Close, once a dentist but more recently a gambler, who said he 
had merely converted from one kind of gouging to another. Bigfoot 
Corrigan, a half-breed Cheyenne, drank pepper in his coffee and 
slung on dog because he had been to Yurrup with Buffalo Bill's 
Wild West Show. Happy Jack Geoghegan was so called because 
he never had been known to smile, and although only one photo- 
graph ever had been taken of him, it was popular in post offices 
from Brownsville to El Reno. Bigod, the Sioux, avoided the only 
other full-blooded Indian, Black Bill Colescott, for the sufficient 
reason that Bill was a Fonca. "We kill them, not because we 
hate them, but because they're Foncas," Horace explained. The 
only tubby man of the squad was a breed of indeterminate origins 
named Benny DuKoff, who had been a bounty hunter of varmints 
in the mountains and who had a laugh which split mirrors. Except 
for Benny and the Noodle, all were lean, from years of punching 
cattle, keeping ahead of posses, and betting into straight flushes. 

They helped the days pass piquantly for Caleb at San Anton'. 
Before the first week was out he had been compelled to knock 
most of them kicking, in sportsmanly succession, to prove that 
his trouncing of a sidewalk tough had been no fluke. They admired 
his ability to box, and so stopped putting horny toads and barbed 
wire in his bedding. They applauded his ability for telling the big- 
gest damn lies north of Chihuahua— in addition to that twister 
about his marksmanship, which Caleb now disclaimed out of sheer 
weariness— they guffawed to hear that ten thousand people would 
turn out to watch some guys rassle over a little bitty football, and 
were enchanted by an imagination which could contrive the 
description of a Yale lock. 

They began to feel like a regiment when they got their uniforms. 
Distinguishing them from the solid "canonical blue" of the 
regulars were their brov^n trousers and leggings and their habit of 
denting their off-the-face slouch hats to suit individual fancy. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 103 

They cheered when the colonel announced that Colts would be 
the side arms instead of the regulars' sabers, and pledged allegiance 
to three mascots, a dog, an eagle, and a mountain lion named 
Florence who disliked the dog, the eagle, and civilians. 

Mounted drill came easily but military courtesy was pesky— 
"Howdy, Cap'n," it seemed, would not do for any officer, and 
even if he were your own lieutenant you still had to say "yessir" 
instead of "sho* nuff." However, there were no courts-martial and 
few desertions. When they loosed a volley of revolver shots at a 
San Antonio concert, which reminded the Prussian bandmaster of 
the Battle of Sedan, they were forgiven— with entire good will, 
they explained, they had reckoned to help the Dutchman get the 
most out of "A Cavalry Fantasy" because, doggone it, the drummer 
was a-laying down on him. Any seasoned army man could have told 
when they detrained at Ybor City on June third that their spirit 
was high. It was clear from their complaints. . . . 

Caleb's mind drifted back to the present as he slung his roll 
into his shelter tent. Rising, he grabbed at the sky to loosen 
cramped muscles and yavmed wide. Then he saw— it couldn't be, 
but it was!— Stretch Spangler with a fluff on his arm. Man, she 
rolled a natural hootchy-kootchy that would make a preacher lay 
his Bible down! 

"Howdy, Stretch!" he called. 

Warren peered at the sunburned and dusty cavalryman and 
then covered his eyes. 

"Well, I'll be eternally g-g " 

"Anh-anh-anh!" Caleb warned. "There is a lady present. How 
do you do. Miss " 

Rowena nodded without enthusj^^v ... A common soldier, 
and my, how he needed a bath! 









Warren's room at the Tampa Bay was busy. Caleb felt the need 
of such do-si-do as barber, manicurist, and bootblack, so he and 



104 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

Horace began with baths and the procession of flunkies started. 
Their host scouted up clean underwear for them; the correspond- 
ents were happy to help the Rough Riders, especially when one 
was a guaranteed Sioux Indian. Horace had to repeat in every 
gory detail, for the benefit of the London Times man, how he had 
scalped General Custer. On his second foray Horace threw in a 
victory screech that curled Mr. Akers's beard. 

"Oh, but I say," the little Englishman murmured to Caleb, 
"how bloody awful! Was that cricket?" 

Horace had sharp ears. "Mister, we weren't on the warpath 
against crickets," he snarled. 

"The next time you massacre Custer, Horace," Caleb said when 
they were alone, "I wish you'd cut out the grunts. You sound 
like feeding time at the zoo. Besides, it isn't nice to lie to a man 
who gave you the undershirt off his back." 

"O.K.," Horace said. 

Warren lay on the bedcovers laughing quietly. "Akers is no 
sucker," he said. "He'll inquire around and find out that the 
chief here couldn't have been born when Custer was killed." 

"I was too!" Horace said. "I was three, and I got a cavalry kepi 
to wear. Us kids went around for days making whiteskins bite 
the dust." 

"And now he's a tinsmith," Caleb said, adjusting his neckerchief 
to various negligent positions before the mirror, "How the mighty 
are fallen." 

"It's a good trade," Horace said. "Indians don't use tin pots, so— 
no pots, no work. Fine business to be in." 

"Well, you certainly can't expect to go about scalping for 
a living," Warren said. 

"Hell," said the Indian, staring at the first manicure of his 
life, "my father always said there was no future in killing white 
men any way you looked at it. No honor to it — not like counting 
coups on Foncas. White men were too helpless, and they fought 
dirty, too." 

"What throats do you two plan to cut tonight, by the way?" 
Warren asked. 



I 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 105 

Caleb gave his curly hair a last lick and sat on the sofa, draping 
a leg over the arm. ''Brother Spangler, it depends on you. Ah — 
nov^, for instance, does Miss Bates have agreeable friends?" 

"Mrs. Bates, not Miss. She's a widow. 

''Better yet." 

"Why?" said Horace. 

"Just a tribal superstition of ours," Warren said. "They're less 
inclined to overrate themselves. Caleb, don't you ever think of 
anything else besides skirts?" 

"What else is there?" 

"Well, you could learn the five-string banjo, for instance, or 
read, or " 

"I can't carry a tune in a bucket, and books hurt my eyes. And, 
anyhow, look who's talking! You've had your whacks, if I recall 
correctly, and I do. Remember that girl in your senior year who 
I had to console when you told her you were going to leave the 
world and become a barefoot monk?" 

"The one who always asked Intelligent Questions, or the one 
who always slapped at me and said, 'Oh, you/'?" 

"See what I mean?" Caleb said to Horace. "Come on now. 
Stretch. You must know more than one woman since you've been 
in Tampa." 

"Uh-huh," Warren said, and gaped at the ceiling. . . . This 
single-track Don Juan wouldn't believe he'd been working — when 
there was work, Warren thought— and had been trying to contrive 
work when there wasn't any, but . . . An idea struck Warren. 

"As a matter of fact, Caleb, I'm in a dilemma, and you can help 
me." 

. . . Mrs. Bates might be unsophisticated, but she had a goal 
at which she pointed with direction and force. In the beginning of 
their acquaintance he had suspected it, but last night she had 
verified her intention quite candidly. With the moonlight in her 
hair she had lain on the beach resting her head on his arm, and 
had talked. The night was quiet, and their cozy comer of the sands 
was private and sheltered for their "romantic purpose." For Warren, 
she'd said, the purpose was pastime and nothing more, but for 



io6 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

herself she required an Understanding if the— you know— roman- 
tics were to go on. Oh, she didn't begrudge any man his idea of 
amusement, but the passion they had spent within the hour was 
a trial sample only, and Warren should know that. It was not nice 
for a woman to be widowed in full bloom— Rowena had said "full 
bloom''— to be left without children to divert her and without 
security. She ached like the dickens to— well, find a good man, 
both young and well off. 

He'd begun to gobble some equivocal rubbish, but she had 
smiled and said, 'Toohsh boy, we startled you, didn't we?" But 
he could relax; she was no maiden who plays at daring advances 
and then flees hysterically, and she was being frank with him be- 
cause he was ineligible— oh, not that she wasn't fond, very fond, 
of him. But he just wasn't— "We're being frank still, remember?" 
—just wasn't rich enough. Then her lips had closed over his again, 
when he'd started to speak, with, "Hush, boy, and be kind to me 
again. . . . You have much aside from money that will make 
some girl very happy." If only the prospects she'd met through him 
at the Tampa Bay who were well fixed— financially— were not so 
old and so silly. . . . 

"As a matter of fact, Caleb," Warren said, "I'm in a dilemma, 
and you can help me." 

"Delighted, old chap," Caleb said without delight. "I owe you 

a service for all this Horace, nix on the bay rum! You stink 

worse than a fire in a tanyard now!" 

"You took a girl off my hands at the Ivy Ball, remember?" 
Warren said softly, watching him. 

Caleb's muscles tightened, but he lounged back on the sofa 
with his hands behind his head and said with what he thought 
was just the right touch of indifference: 

"Yes. A nice girl she was, as I recall." 

"Very. I think we'll be married someday." 

The curlyhead sprang up and thrust out his hand. "Why, 
Stretch, you old— why, congratulations!" 

Inwardly Warren groaned. . . . Something had gone on be- 
tween Susan and this— this poop, while he was in Reading, but he 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 107 

resolved not to let his mind dwell on it. After all, he'd had no 
claim on her then, nor was sure he wanted to stake one, and— hell! 
silly affairs happened to anybody. Warren conceded that some 
extraordinarily shabby ones had been his part in the past, but, 
damn it all, anyhow! 

It would serve Fancy Dan here good and right if he could be 
embroiled with . . . 

"Rowena," Warren said. "She's expecting me to go for a 
moonlight row tonight, but I doubt if I should leave the hotel. 
Rumor is smelling up the place. . . . Yes, I think we're due to 
sail. His Excellency's three hundred pounds was warping chairs in 
the telegraph room and the Secretary of War was on the line 
personally, I heard. Also, Shafter's staff show white around the 
pupils of their eyes and don't even stop to flirt their sabretaches 
for the gals. They have that important I-know-what-I-know look, 
too." 

'Ton mean " 

"Look out, Cuba, here we come!" 

''Rats, that wasn't what I meant!" Caleb snorted. "What about 
you and your friend Rowena?" 

"If you're interested, here's her address," Warren said, scribbling, 
"and a few words to explain you as proxy for me. She'll probably 
be delighted for the change. But maybe you'd prefer not to desert 
Horace?" 

"Forget it," said the Indian. "Probably couldn't go places with 
him, anyhow. I'd be just a gaudier kind of Jim Crow." 

"I never thought of that," Warren said, lifting an eyebrow. 

"Why should you?" said Horace. "You're purebred American." 

Caleb was suspicious, as Warren expected he would be. "You're 
mighty openhanded with your lady friend. Has she got her original 
legs and teeth?" 

"I warrant them genuine. Come-easy-go-easy Spangler, that's 
me." 

"And she gave me a double-O this morning as if I was something 
that'd stuck to her shoe." 

"Your greasy galluses were showing, Romeo," Warren said, and 



io8 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

yawned. "She thought you were a bum, but when I told her who 
you really are— well, say!" 

"All right, who really am I?" 

Warren rolled over to his elbows. "We southern gentlefolk are 
just as particular whom we associate with as Main Liners back 
home. You're comfortably furnished with dough— not vulgarly, 
of course— and that's important. By the way, I hope you're eligible 
for the Barons of Runnymede. I elected you this morning for her 
benefit." 

"Come clean— what's the plot?" 

"No plot. I've got to stay in tonight, and you're interested in 
going out. And the beauteous Mrs. Bates now knows that the horse 
valet she saw this morning combines the ancestry of a Wadsworth, 

the gallantry of a Greenway, the upholstery of a Mcllhenny 

Why, she was ashamed of herself for not having recognized quality 
right off!" 

Caleb uttered a word, but he was less suspicious. After all, he 
was a Hawkins, but no man could look a credit to his extraction 
just off a sooty train and up to his tail in mud. ... He glanced 
in the mirror, twirling his sombrero in a forefinger. 

"Very well, you're on. Stretch. If I hadn't seen this female 
for myself I'd have said you were working off damaged goods. 
I'm still not sure you aren't, but I must warn you: if she's passable, 
I'll cut you out. No hard feelings?" 

"Nope. Anyhow, thanks for your honesty." 

"Noblesse ohligeJ' Caleb put the slip of paper Warren had 
written into a pocket, clapped him on the shoulder, and went out. 

Horace picked up the bay rum again and said, "You didn't 
happen to run into any high-class Seminole girls while you were 
at it, did you?" 

His host began to laugh, and continued to laugh until he fell 
back on the bed. The Indian viewed him sourly. 

"Very funny, very funny." 

"Sorry, chief— private joke. If you wait a few minutes while I 
answer a letter, we'll see what fun we can scare up in town." 

"I thought you were staying in? You said " 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 109 

''Sure, sure. After we do the town. Make yourself at home." 
Warren sat at his desk to reread Susan^s last letter. 

My dear Warren [it said], 

I am sure it's none oi my concern what you do with your spare 
timCy so — if you don't mind — Fd prefer to heai no more about your 
Mrs. Bates. She sounds Uke a schemer to me, and Fm surprised at 
you. And you with a college education/ 

Now to he plain myseli, hut in a nicer way, FU tell you that I 
miss you. Maybe J oughtn't to, because it's not demure, hut let 
it go. Ma and Gus miss you too, so Fm not the only one. You'll 
get a swelled head, hut I had to say I missed you. Absence makes 
the heart grow ionder (T. H. Bayly) . So true! 

Why can't you tell me right out that you love me, without 
mixing me all up? I like it when you call me the '*light oi your 
Hie," because that's cute, hut don't add, *little glowworm," darn 
it! You can be so sweet, so why mix it up with worms, YOU BIG 
GALOOT!! Darn it, I wish we could just once talk about aEection 
without getting into a Eghtl 

Your experiences in Tampa sound interesting, even the ones 
you say are dull. Do tell me everything^ because Fve never been 
anywhere. I won't let on to a soul what you say is coniidential, ex- 
cept maybe to Ma and Gus and perhaps Hattie, because she's my 
best iriend. They aren't ''outsiders," are they? Fm so proud oi you 
taking up with Mr. Davis, but Mr. Crane sounds crazy, maybe 
because he's a poet. {Are they married, Warren? You didn't say.) 
I am keeping your letters, oi course, and all the clippings irom the 
Ledger. Maybe you can do a book at some future date irom the 
collection. Fm nobody, but Fd love to think I helped a man write 
a book. Just think oi the wonderiul people you're meeting {except 
some) and the history you are seeing made while it's making! 
Doesn't it thrill you? It does me! 

Fd love to boast about you at the Arsenal because Fd love the 
girls to he jealous, especially Hattie Bomberger. She's getting so 
stuck-up because her beau's a lieutenant in camp at Mount Gretna, 
but I knew him beiore she did, and my goodness, he's not so much! 
My goodness, I can just hear him giving snappy commands when 
he always had to think Eve minutes beiore he said, ''Yes, it's rain- 
ing." Fve shown Hattie your newspaper stories, anyhow^FU burst 



no THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

a I can't brag about you just a little, Warren/ {Don't ioiget to 
let me know ii I can read the secret parts oi your letters to Ma and 
Gus, at least, will you, Warren?) 

Gus wants to know what you think of the Phillies so far, be- 
cause they have lost seven straight games because they have 
^'brainless pitching, dopey Eelding, and yellow playing,'' your paper 
says. That is very unkind, because, after all, games are only for 
fun. Gus says any team that can't beat Brooklyn and Washington 
takes the booby prize, and he's written a letter to Manager Stall- 
ings to tell him what to do. He wrote a scorcher to Senator Quay 
too, when his candidate beat Mr. Wanamaicer last week, but isn't 
he silly to think a senator will pay any attention to him, even ii 
he does sign his name August Kelley? 

Ma says heJIo and wants to know ii she can sew you something, 
or anything. She means it. 

As ior me, I'd like to do something ior you too, but I don't 
know what. Please tell me. The days are weeks since you leit, and 
all the same. We take turns on the night shiits, that's all. Such 
busyness at the Arsenal you can imagine, I guess. Also, they say 
that Captain Lassac, the man who's invented a pointed bullet, 
is going to start piecework during the emergency. That will mean 
more work and money ior me, weighing the work, but I don't 
know whether I'll like it. The work, I mean. 

Now I must close. Ma and I are going to church. She's been 
under the weather ior a while, and this will be her Erst outing. 
She likes the organist but can't stand the minister. 

I do love you, Warren dear. Keep telling me the same. 

Yours truly, 

Susan 
p.s. Is this Bates person very good-looking? 

Warren wrote: 

Dear, sweet, my Susie— 

This in some haste, because I have a tame Indian in my room 
waiting. He came in this morning with the Rough Riders, or 
Teddy's Terrors, or whatever, and so did another terror, our old 
and valued iriend, Caleb Hawkins. 

Surprised? You shouldn't be. He's unpredictable, or perhaps I 
ought to say untrustworthy^hut there's no sense blackguarding 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD m 

the Mlow. After alJ, you don't know him as intimately as I do, and 
aren't interested either, you said. 

I have time to say I love you, my Eery {notice spelling) iusty- 
hoots, and that's about all. After this Sioux, Horace Bigod—I won- 
der where he got that monicker?— has seen the elephant, I must 
come hack and get to work. It may he worth staying up all night, 
for the transports are being Etted and are loading. 

By all means let Ma and Gus read my letters, but draw the line 
at Hattie, I pray you. There are enough wild rumors about this 
expedition in circulation already without adding another minor 
prophet wholl have ''inside information." 

That idea about me doing a book is a good one, but— Susie, 
you're pretty sure you'd be mighty useful, now confess! When you 
write archly I can almost see you flutter your eyelids and stand 
waiting for the protestations you expect. You re a nice little gal, 
honey, and Fm nuts on you, but— shucks, cut it out! 

As for la Bates, she's not my style, so stop fretting. She was a 
pleasant boat ride for a time, to adapt a simile from a local ladies'- 
wear ad— "A welJ-corseted woman reminds one of a white ship 
sailing over the sea." Yes indeed, Rowena's very beautiful if you 
like the type, which you wouldn't. Caleb may like her a Jot better- 
he's out with her tonight, and I feel relieved, with this military 
pot seething as it is. Isn't it the limit how he seems to stow up to 
take a young lady off my hands when I need him most? 



xui 



(Telegraphic dispatches by Warren Spangler to the Pubhc 
Ledger, with interpolations from his notebook.) 

TAMPA, JUNE 7— FIFTH CORPS EMBARKING PORT TAMPA. SPANGLER. 

TAMPA, JUNE 7— AT TEN P.M. DESTINATION OF FIFTH CORPS STILL 
UNKNOWN. SANTIAGO DE CUBA POSSIBLE SINCE NAVY CLAIMS SILENC- 
ING OF FORTS THERE, BUT PORTO RICO NOT OUT OF QUESTION. MILES, 
CHIEF OF STAFF, HERE BUT SAYS TROOPS WILL SAIL UNDER SHAFTER 
AT DAYBREAK. SPANGLER. 

TAMPA, JUNE 7— BIGELOW ARTICLE IN HARPER's CAUSING ROW HERE 
AMONG CORRESPONDENTS. RESPECTFULLY SUGGEST YOU USE EARLIER 



112 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

SUPPRESSED REPORTS BY ME FOR REWRITE BACKGROUND OF THIS RAREE 
SHOW. INDESCRIBABLE CONFUSION OF TROOP EMBARKATION PARALLELS 
PRECEDING LOADING OF SUPPLIES. HELL WILL BE NO MORE CROWDED 
ON JUDGMENT DAY. WILL SEND ALL TELEGRAMS AND LETTERS IN 
DUPLICATE FROM HERE ON. SPANGLER. 

Poultney Bigelow broke the ice, or Harper's did, by not blue- 
penciling what he sent, and one result has been that R. H. Davis is 
cutting Poult dead and even calling him "traitorous"— wow! But 
Bigelow is right: the German attache must ''be amused by our 
fumbling/' for everyone else is who isn't outraged by it. Miles and 
Shafter will lead a mob of men and call it an American Expedi- 
tionary Force. The mob is hot to have at "the dagos"; whether 
it's the valor of ignorance or not, their spirit would rock those race 
purists in Europe who insist Americans can't fight because we're 
too polyglot. But there are hundreds of troops here who have yet to 
see a rifle, hundreds more who haven't fired theirs; many are 
down with typhoid and malaria, and all are hungry. Crane and I 
have been panhandled on American streets by American soldiers 
on the same day we have seen carloads of foodstuffs pulling out 
for the northern markets. Florida's fault? No. The Army's? Maybe. 
America's? Certainly. 

The inexperience of our generals in water-borne operations is 
enough cause for misgivings without adding the confusion, but 
to top their shortcomings with the fact that none but a few an- 
tique Civil War vets have seen a body of troops larger than a 
regiment is to tilt the chute toward disaster. The volunteer officers 
naturally are worse than the regulars, the blame of which falls not 
on them, or the Army, or Congress, but on the criminal indiffer- 
ence of the citizens of the United States. No taxpayer would want 
one of his expensive battleships entrusted to amateur sailors, but 
he never thinks twice about committing the life of his son to tyros 
on land. Nope— grandpa's musket needs a new flint, and that's 
sufficient for sonny, and so is grandpa's experience. . . . 

At Port Tampa last week Crane and I sat on a well-nailed crate 
without a mark on it but the flaming bomb of Army Ordnance and 
the letters "S.A." for Springfield Arsenal. Along came a dirty lieu- 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD . 113 

tenant and a dirtier private, clutching hatchets, to inspect the box 
and curse dismally. Looking for biscuit to put aboard the Seneca, 
the lieutenant said, ''Either of you fellows see any boxes around 
that looked like biscuit?" Crane said no, sorry, but why didn^t 
contractors plainly mark their shipments? Why didn't the Army 
require it? ''What!" said the soldier, "and cheat us of the fun of 
treasure hunts?" 

Steve and I made jokes about the business, but I wondered if 
he also felt the queer sense of personal humiliation that I felt 
over it. . . . 

The contents of the freight cars apparently are the only secrets 
of the expedition, for ship movements and battle plans have been 
as secret as garlic in a stew. . . . Our heavy artillery has been 
found, callooh callay! The Army mislaid them, a whole trainload, 
just as a schoolma'am might her umbrella, and some generals 
found them when they were up at the springs near Ocala bathing 
their aches. The philosophic freight agent said he reckoned some- 
body would find theirselves short a sidingful of big guns and come 
take delivery. This incident shades even the master stroke of the 
War Department in shipping an entire battery of field artillery 
down here by Railway Express, at so much the pound! . . . The 
Tampa post office is tiny; it can't keep up with bills of lading, 
army mail, and Tampa's own important letters all at once. Hence 
dirty lieutenants with hatchets must play guessing games and 
generals with gout find a siege train by accident. The postal clerks 
are out of their depths in many ways: Caleb was haw-hawing over 
a letter one of the Rough Riders had returned to him as "undeliver- 
able foreign matter," because it was- addressed to Spuyten Duyvil, 
N.Yrs:.r 

omeday we may know why^Tanipa-was^jpicked as the port of 
embarkation; its nearness to the theater of war is vastly offset by 
its deficiencies. There are no warehouses for sorting and inspecting 
supplies, not enough fresh water for the troops to wash with, the 
shore front has only a ten-foot draught, and the deepwater port is 
miles away. Local papers said the railroad could "handle almost 
any number of cars in an easy and expeditious manner, so perfect 




114 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

are the arrangements made for its own business/' That last phrase 
is right, anyhow; while the desperate loading of the transports was 
going on, the Plant System continually ran excursion trains right- 
down to the dockside, to the one solitary pier, over the single track. 

TAMPA, JUNE 7— ALL REGULARS WILL SAIL, PLUS ROUGH RIDERS, 
SEVENTYFIRST NEW YORK, AND SECOND MASSACHUSETTS. PERSONAL 
GUESS OF SIZE WHOLE COMMAND IS SOMETHING OVER THE TEN THOU- 
SAND ADMIRAL SAMPSON SAYS CAN TAKE SANTIAGO, BUT DESTINATION 
STILL IS MYSTERY. TRYING TO GET TRANSPORTATION MYSELF ON SOME 
NEWSPAPER TUG. THERE ARE MORE OF THEM THAN TRANSPORTS. 
SPANGLER. 

The kettle boils. Watched Lieutenant Parker's Catlings briskly 
transferred from train to ship with no waste motions and obvious 
foreplanning, and then watched his agonies when tons of miscel- 
laneous junk were piled on his guns by somebody who outranked 
him. If we meet Spaniards on the beach when we land, which is 
reasonable to expect, he'll have to shoot his way out of the Cheio 
kee's hold first. 

Fm no soldier and don't know the lingo, but if this masquerade 
under the five-dollar word of ''logistics" makes sense I'll put in 
for a quiet padded cell at Kirkbride's— why, a dumb Dutch farmer 
up Lancaster way wouldn't organize his barnyard the way they're 
packing these boats! The tools the engineers will need first on 
landing— spades, crowbars, picks, et cetera— are slung in at the bot- 
tom, with mountains of baggage overlaying them, to prevent their 
clanking from disturbing the captains' sleep, I suppose. I've sat 
by the hour, day after day, watching stuff taken on helter-skelter, 
and now see the men embarking in the same way. Fieldpieces on 
one vessel, caissons on another— then they pull out into the bay 
to loiter while others move in to ship the ammunition, the horses, 
and now the gunners. No, I'm no soldier, but I'm a Pennsylvania 
Dutchman who knows a dummer esel^ arse-end-up way of doing 
things when he sees it! How can I send home inspiring stories of 
American competence when the Eagle's keepers have made him 
look like a wet turkey with the pip? 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 115 

I got a curt answer from a Medical Department officer when 
I asked about his baiHwick, so being once ruffled twice curious, I 
pumped a staff major who's awed by reporters. By order, by God, 
only three ambulances are going — for perhaps fifteen thousand 
men! That number wouldn't do for a Loyal Order of Hibernians 
clambake! But the absolute last straw was to hear that no medi- 
cines are aboard any ship yet, although they're to leave in a few 
hours! Won't anybody but ''dagos" get hurt on this picnic, or 
what? I'm getting so nervous I stutter constantly— this must be the 
way a Pilgrim felt waiting for Plymouth Rock to land on him. 

Jack Fox says it's on the level about leaving at dawn, surgically 
equipped or no. I can't believe it, but Fox is an old hand and has 
his ''ins"; he's heard that political considerations demand instant 
movement. Washington fears intervention by France or Germany 
if we wait till fall, or even until this dog's breakfast of an expedi- 
tion is set, so the President has kicked the Secretary of War in the 
pants, who has kicked the Chief of Staff, who has kicked Shafter, 

who has Well, the sorest behinds are on those who are working 

three shifts around the clock, struggling up a fifty-foot incline of 
fluid sand to heave boxes into the ships, and sleeping where they 
drop. 

My gallant major on the staff regrets he can't confirm the des- 
tination yet, because that would be a breach of faith as an officer 
and a gentleman, which is pure bushwa. I detest the s.o.b. and 
myself, but through him I've gotten steers which have been useful 
even when I could not break them. God knows how many reporters 
he's feeding; I can see why, as Crane says, the Navy won't allow a 
newspaperman on its ships when they're on business, nor foreign 
attaches either. The Army seems to be more accessible, because 
officers like my toad see a war as their chance to press-agent them- 
selves toward the top of the constipated promotion lists. . . . Just 
the same, I feel sorry for the gray-haired junior officers. There are 
two Captain Caprons, for instance, good men, who have more in 
common than rank. They are father and son. 

Discreditable tales travel faster by land than by sea anyhow, be- 
cause of the nature of the walking and talking. ... A grand speci- 



ii6 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

men of officer and gentleman was the drunk who was a big operator 
in Quartermaster here. Even though he was protected by superiors 
and covered up for by juniors^ out of that sad loyalty all profes- 
sionals have for one another, he refused to sober up and get on with 
feeding and clothing the miserables camped around Tampa. 
Finally he went berserk with the d.t.s like any bum in a drunk-tank 
and rampaged through the hotel one night mauling women and 
men alike. Was he jailed? Lord, no—they transferred him to a bet- 
ter job! . . . 

TAMPA, JUNE 8— DESTINATION STILL UNCERTAIN. ADD TO PRESS RATE 
COPY FILED ONE A.M.: HAVE COUNTED TWENTYNINE TRANSPORTS. NO 
MEDICINES ABOARD BUT LOADING WILL CONTINUE AS SHIPS PULL OUT, 
FOR AS FAR AS STEVEDORES CAN THROVE. UNITS ON ROSTER OF EXPEDI- 
TION SO EAGER TO EMBARK THAT GANGPLANKS ARE SCENES OF SPIRITED 
FIST FIGHTS. ROUGH RIDERS STOLE COAL GONDOLAS TO GET TO PORT, 
STOLE LAUNCH TO BOARD VESSEL NOT ASSIGNED TO THEM, HELD LAT- 
TER AGAINST ASSIGNED REGIMENT AT BAYONET POINT. ROOSEVELT SAID 
HIS COMPETITORS V^ERE SHADE LESS READY IN MATTER OF PERSONAL 
INITIATIVE THAN HIS MEN. EXPLAINED HE COULD NOT FIND DEPOT 
QUARTERMASTER BECAUSE ASS WAS TAKING NAP. TWO EACH OF SQUAD- 
RONS FROM VARIOUS CAVALRY REGIMENTS GOING AS INFANTRY BE- 
CAUSE NO ROOM FOR HORSES. INFORMANT SAYS TRANSPORT FACILITIES 
WERE CALCULATED BY BRITISH METHOD NOW FOUND INAPPLICABLE, 
SO CAPACITIES WERE OVERESTIMATED BY ONE THIRD. MEN ARE PACKED 
IN THREE TIERS ON PINE-SCANTLING BUNKS WITHOUT MATTRESSES AND 
HAVE RIFLES AND AMMUNITION IN BED WITH THEM. NO VENTILATION 
ON MOST SHIPS AND WATER ABOARD IS PUTRID. MISTER PLANT HAS 
OFFERED TO REPLENISH WATER AT TWO CENTS GALLON. CENSORSHIP 
BROKEN DOWN ALONG WITH EVERYTHING ELSE. ALL CORRESPONDENTS 
AND ATTACHES BEING TAKEN AT UNCLE SAm's EXPENSE, SO AM OFF TO 
CATCH S.S. VIGILANCIA. CABLE ADDRESS WILL BE CARE OF U.S. CONSUL, 
KINGSTON, JAMAICA, B.W.I. NEXT OF KIN FRANK SP ANGLER, LANCASTER. 
VIVA. SPANGLER. 

TAMPA, JUNE 8— SAILING POSTPONED. SPANISH FLEET REPORTED BY 
NAVY THREE HOURS OFFSHORE. SPANGLER. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD ir 



XIV 

The Army's rush to the ships upset a personal expedition of 
Caleb's, but when he learned they would idle in the bay indefi- 
nitely his frustration sharpened unbearably. For, the night before 
he had been hustled aboard the Yucatan to sit down and wait, a 
green-eyed woman had shown signs of surrender. The horse had 
had his way with the carriage while Caleb had his with its owner, 
almost. At the last possible moment Rowena had said, "No, no, 
man— not this way. It's unbecoming," and so it had been, Caleb 
agreed when his pulse stopped drumming. Love-making in leggings 
and spurs was rather cluttered. 

However, another triumph so near and then snatched away was 
vexing, so Caleb fretted as he cleaned a carbine of a type none of 
the regiment had handled, nor would fire until their first battle. 
. . . One more night, one more shove, would have sent success 
to his whole push, damnation! Instead, here he stuck on a reek- 
ing tub a few tantalizing miles away from Rowena, bunked be- 
tween a snoring Indian above and Rattlesnake Fred below, with 
his nasal guitar and nasal ballads. The racket, the crowding, the 
stinks! Especially the stinks: of unhappy mules, of unwashed men, 
and of the consomme of sewage which was called Tampa Bay. So 
near, yet so far, the perfume of a woman's hair. . . . 

The ships rolled at anchor under the sun, because the once- 
impatient Navy suddenly had begun chasing ghosts; the Spanish 
warships blockaded in Santiago might not be Cervera's, but ''dis- 
guised merchantmen"; the battleships and their dreaded new de- 
stroyers, P Ju ton and Furor, were— where? Tampa as well as San- 
tiago now had a bottled fleet, the cork being uncertainty. The 
sweltering corps meanwhiled away its time by reshuffling men 
among the transports, tramping them around the decks in lock 
step for exercise, and breaking up crap games. Individually the men 
refreshed themselves on lemonade and fried fish bought from 
bumboatmen. The food they hauled overside was more than a 



ii8 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

trifling luxury with which bored men indulge themselves, for only 
their officers and the reporters had a mess. 

Little diops oi water, 
Little phtes of beans, 
Made the mighty soldiei 
Use his private means, 

one doughboy wrote. 

During their wait Caleb talked with a Negress in one of the bum- 
boats, got an idea, and made a snap decision. By her he sent a 
message to Rowena and through her received an encouraging reply. 
How now: if only officers could use the steam launches to go 
ashore, was it not up to a private soldier to rustle his own means? 
Colonel Roosevelt was keen for individual initiative, Caleb whick- 
ered, and Rosemary Suggs had a boat, powerful arms, and a sho'- 
nuff interest in earning a few dollars to help out a soldier boy. 
Detection was no worry, since the Yucatan's passengers swarmed 
on all decks, making out-of-bounds areas a ribald joke. Rosemary 
tittered and promised to be under the taffrail at ten, when Caleb 
paid her half an agreed fare from his money belt; for all that she 
looked like a cross between a Wagnerian soprano and Sandow, 
Mrs. Suggs's heart was a woman's, and the romance of the deal 
enchanted her as much as Caleb's quarter eagle. . . . Men and 
womens flew hot, she knew, and jest had to git theyselves a lil 
lovin'. . . . 

As planned, she waited under the stem where a joker had hung 
a sign reading, "Standing Room Only," and another had added, 
''And Damn Little of That!" Rosemary held a rope taut, Caleb 
slid down, and she rowed him away in the darkness to the beach, 
where he tantalized her with another gold piece if she were sure to 
pick him up again an hour before dawn. 

"Lordy yes, sir," Rosemary promised, 'Til be here. Just you fix 
to give your lady the best you got." A little plaintively she said, 
"I sure wish my no-good would scratch to get hisself off a boat just 
to be with me, come jail or glory. But that little old dried-up man 
just seem to have lost his natural taste for my peaches." 



) 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 119 

Caleb caught a ride on a Studebaker wagon into town for the 
price of stopping for a drink with the quartermaster driver en 
route. It was safer than the train, which was pohced, but it was 
slower, so that a church clock bonged twelve cracked notes by the 
time he crouched under a gable of Colonel Evers's house. 

There was a light in the square cupola, he saw, but none else- 
where; palm fronds rustled in a light wind with the sound of rain, 
Spanish moss made bearded prophets of the oaks, a fingernail 
paring of moon hung over the house, and in the distance a mock- 
ingbird with insomnia told himself stories. 

Stooping, Caleb picked up a piece of punkwood and tossed it at 
the upper window Rowena had diagrammed in her note. The sash 
rose, slowly after one tattletale squeak, and her voice said: 

"Who is it?" 

"Caleb. Who else could " 

"Sssh! Whisper— Father's still awake in the tower." 

"All right. How do I get in?" 

"Oh man, you shouldn't!" 

"How do I get in, anyhow?" 

"How did you get here? Did you have trouble?" 

"Great gods and I came on all fours! I had to see you before 

we sailed, sweetheart— isn't that enough?" 

No answer. Caleb hissed, "Ssst! Rowena! You still there?" 

"Uh-huh. Fm just thinking." 

"You're wasting time. How do I " 

"We're like Romeo and Juliet, man!" 

Caleb could not share the relish; whispering was making him 
hoarse, anticipation was making him shake, and mosquitoes were 
blowing mess call around his neck. 

"Sweetheart, if you love me, let's talk Shakespeare inside!" 

After another pause she said, "There's a picker's ladder against 
the tool shed. Watch out it doesn't bump hard on the wall. It's 
heavy." 

It was, he found, but he needed every inch of its twenty feet to 
reach her sill, for the ground sloped away sharply there. Once a 
rotten rung broke, giving him a thrill he did not need, and once 



120 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

the thought capered through his mind that he was not cHmbing 
to pick oranges but a winsomer fruit, and that both Rosemary and 
Rowena, ahke in being women, doted on ladders and conspiracy. 

If being swathed in ten yards of frilly peignoir could be called 
prepared for bed, Rowena was ready, and a vein beat in Caleb's 
temple. 

''My darling," he said, and caught her. 

"What happened about Shakespeare?" she said, but she re- 
turned his kisses, and Caleb began to soar. To do him a certain 
honor, feminine passivity always had bothered him, and not wholly 
selfishly. Like Casanova the compassionate, he hated to act the cat 
who takes its pleasure by rubbing itself against a trouser leg or 
skirt. There might be fun in that for the cat, but all the pants or 
skirt picked up was stray hairs. 

Again cautioning silence, Rowena led him to a divan beside a 
painted screen, where they talked in murmurs as soft as the light 
of the candle set on her washstand. 

''Mother always sleeps like a brick," she said, trailing her fingers 
down his cheek, "but Papa is a stay-up. He's probably too far off 
with dear old General Lee to hear us, but if he does— oh my!" 

"There's always the ladder," Caleb said. "Kiss me." 

"Your lips, man— my! . . . You couldn't outrun a shotgun 
load." 

"Forget it. Again, sweet. ..." 

How could she plaster him so hotly and not tremble herself? he 
wondered. Responsive was a frigid word for her, but was it absurd 
to imagine that she played on his lips as she might on her mando- 
lin? Well, anyhow, the music was exciting— there'll be a hot time 
in the old town tonight, my ba-ay-bee! . . . 

"Isn't it risky coming here like this?" she said at last, settling in 
his arms. "The Army won't like it, I mean." 

"You let me come. Isn't that risky too?" 

"I had to, sweet boy. That lovely, lovely note you sent " 

"I repeat it," he said against her throat. "I am mad about you, 
and the war and the fleet can wait if you, the shimmering vision 
of my dreams, will open your window to me." 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 121 

"How you do talk, man!" she said. "So I opened, but we're crazy 
to run the dangers, I think." 

"You sound vahant enough, dear. Anyhow," he said, testing a 
seasoned shaft, "love is a moth that should far better fly into a 
flame than die in the snow." 

"Uh-huh. . . . Caleb, do you get much snow in Philadelphia?" 

The good old poetical arrow, was it warped from wear? With 
many women it flew home to the heart, and it was original, so she 
couldn't have scar tissue, but— oh well . . . 

"We get our share," he said. "Every place has its own nuisances. 
Snow, unlike sand, doesn't harbor fleas and chiggers. Just good, 
honest pneumonia." 

"I love our Southern weather, though Papa says it was better 
before the war, but I can't see how. The War Between the States, 
that is— nothing's been the same since the war, he says." 

"Well, Florida may be fine, but it sure has its drawbacks for a 
soldier in summertime." 

"Papa also says you Yankees have a nerve to sneer at our climate. 
Oh!— I'm sorry." 

"About what?" 

"I called you a— Yankee." 

"Is it a cussword?" 

She giggled. "Sometimes. Caleb, what is it like to be a Yankee? 
I mean, how does it feel?" 

"Fine," he said, and his hands roamed her. "Fine." 

"Would I have to be one if I Never mind. I'd make the 

best of it." 

"Rowena, I'm aware that your father on the one occasion he 
couldn't avoid me managed to hiss 'Yankee,' which takes some 
managing. I'm sorry about being one, for your sake. But when we 
soldiers cuss the climate we don't suspect you-all own it like family 
plate. . . . Damn, how did we get onto weather? That's no way 
to spend our last minutes!" 

"Sssh, you're raising your voice, boy. And don't speak of them 
as last minutes, please." 

"But they are. I don't dare promise another visit. For all I know, 



122 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

the ships may have upped anchor tonight. That would make me a 
deserter!" 

"Fudge, how ridiculous! Just to say good-by to a lady?" 

'Tou might make that clearer to a court than I could. Anyhow, 
these may be last minutes in another way." 

She sounded suspicious, roused. "You don't mean to say this is 
only a— an episode? After all you ve said?" 

"No, no!" He paused, to select an indigo oil from his palette. 
"No, but twenty years ago in Barcelona a baby may have been bom 
whose destiny is to pull a trigger at the precise moment I cross his 
gun sights. Ah, Rowena, his bullet might " 

"Pooh," she said, and sounded relieved. "If thaf s all you meant, 
Fve heard that Spaniards can't shoot worth shucks." 

He forced down misgivings. . . . This was not going well. He 
knew he had been drippy, but he'd underplayed his lines just right. 
Maybe there should have been more light so that she could see 
how he flared his nostrils— goldam, most women in a boudoir 
under such circumstances would have been clipped sobbing to his 
breast by now! Instead, this one passes judgment on marksmanship 
as Smoky Stu would in a saloon. . . . Caleb contrived a smile and 
wore off on another tack. 

"No matter what," he whispered, and clasped her closely, "we 
have this night." 

"Lover— ow! Your buckle's digging me." 

However, despite the digging buckle, when they separated for 
air she panted, and Caleb's practiced ear detected more than a 
cheer for oxygen. Encouraged, he tossed off his blouse and the 
cruel belt, and pulled open a bow at her neck when he sat again. 
The flouncy collar parted slackly; in the candlelight her throat 
glowed a warmer white than the metal of her hair. His hands 
shook, but Rowena smiled. 

"Beautiful," he choked out, and kissed a bared shoulder. 

"It is, isn't it?" she said. "And so is my back. Taking care of 
your carriage does wonders for the bones. Some people slouch all 
over, like this"— and she demonstrated— "but Fve always held my 
shoulders back. Putting a good Staffordshire plate on the head for 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 123 

exercise makes a practical reminder, but a book will do. Look, 
like this " 

And, rising, she showed how, branching into a reverent disserta- 
tion on the value of a daily hundred and Gity strokes for women 
with long hair who really care. 

A little desperately Caleb said, "Yes, regal is the word that fits 
you. Regal. Gold and ermine." 

She sat down, sighing. "Oh, I've dreamed of those wonderful 
costumes of olden days and far places. But down South furs are 
too hot, and it's a shame when they're so setting-off. Now if I lived 
in the North, say, I'd " 

Caleb had an inspiration. Time was ticking by and he hadn't 
progressed much farther than he had in the unbecoming carriage. 
If she were so simple-minded about her beauty, and if talk of dress 
could touch her closely, he would try a rhinestone blanket on 
Pegasus. 

"I have a vision of you," he said, holding her off and staring at 

and through her. "You are Stand up again, my lovely, and let 

me show you." 

"Your eyes look funny, Caleb. ... All right, whatever it is, 
but remember Papa. What are we going to do?" 

"We're going to the opening of the season of the Symphonic 
Society. We're in Philadelphia and it's a starry fall night. You " 

"Lover-man, go along and don't be silly!" 

"You must wear a very low neckline to display There. So. 

. . . Now this is no longer a dressing gown, but a cloak to trail 
glory. So. . . . Ummm— here, this shawl is your ermine— it 

wreathes your No, sable would be better still on you. . . . 

Jus-st— sol" 

"Oh, stop it, Caleb; you're tickling!" 

"Now we pass through the foyer of the Academy. Notice how 
the eyes follow you? Walk about, sweetheart. You tilt your 
head " 

"Like this?" 

"Yes, fine! I wish I could hear what the women are whispering 
behind their fans, but this I know: they admire and hate you. Men 



124 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

glance, to turn back sharply when they realize that a new Langtry 
or Russell has arrived. That arched neck, those shoulders, that fine 
bosom '' 

"Do women really wear gowns cut this low up North, boy? If 
they do and it's the fashion, I don't mind a bit, of course, because 
I'm full and firm, but heavens alive!— you can almost see— almost 
see Why, you can/" 

"A woman like you can set her own styles, beautiful Rowena!" 

She was in the spirit of the play at last, he saw; her cheeks 
flushed and the parted mouth and widened eyes were staring at the 
phantom magnificence, and he was half amazed at his own talent 
for sorcery. 

"Yes! I could!" she said. "See me there among the dressy people? 
In a city where there are hansoms and theaters and lights and 
champagne wine in those funny goblets! Take me there, lover, do!" 

"I'll take you. I dream that as I walk by your side in cabaret or 
opera I'd be thinking, 'She is mine, and all the jealousy of the 
men is of me!' " 

. . . It's getting a trifle thick in here, Hawkins, he thought. 
Throw Pegasus a forkful of ambrosia and show the sacred nag his 
stall! How silly some of these affairs can get! . . . 

He pulled her down to him. The enchanted cloak reverted to 
a dressing robe, which, unsupported by knot, bow, or hand, slipped 
to the floor. 

"I'd admire to go to that band concert with you, Caleb. How far 
is Philadelphia from New York?" 

"Close. We'd go there often. Give me your mouth. . . . Now 
do you know why I had to see you again, if for the last time, to tell 
you of my dreams?" 

"You hush with that 'last time'! Be careful of fever and drunken 
niggers and you'll come back all right. Oh, you v^ll come back, 
won't you? You must!" 

"Darling, if it's in the cards, I'll home to you like a bird at 
evening." 

Her sigh blended with the moan of the bedsprings. "I declare, 
lover-man," she said, "I think you're southern at heart. Kiss me. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 125 

yes, kiss me. You're so gallant— like Papa used to be, and— oh, 
Robert E. Lee! . . . Gently, sweet, gently!" 

"My heart speaks the words," he whispered. 

Which should have been the end of silly talk until the idle 
time of grace afterward, but Caleb, like a cocksure Indian, be- 
trayed himself by a scalp cry. Flippancy in moments of exultation 
has undone many men. 

^'Besides," he said as he leaned over her, "who the hell is Robert 
E. Lee?" 

"Lover-man, you hush now! Don't joke about " 

He nibbled an ear. "Of course— it comes— back to me! He— was 
the one whom— General Grant— spoke kindly of." 

Not yet so affronted that a word spoken humbly could not have 
repaired her shock, she was not far short of indignation. She pushed 
at him. 

"You want to spoil ev— — Do let me up a moment. Please! . . . 
Let me be now, I tell you/" 

But he felt masterful, and laughed. The laugh curdled Rowena. 
It stung her, too, to have to wiestle so— so unbecomingly! 

She slapped his face as smartly as she might have slammed 
the door on a brassy book salesman, and scrambled to her feet 
when his grip loosened. He could only gape as she gathered her 
nightgown about her and pointed a furious finger at the window. 

"Out, sir!" she said. 

"What in thunder is jabbing you now?" 

"Thank you for preventing me from making a fool of myself!" 

"Hey?" 

"If you know the word 'gentleman,' go quietly!" 

"Now look here, sweetheart, let's " 

"And don't you go sweet-talking me, either, you— damyankee!" 

A lamp popped on in Caleb's mind. "Well, for Pete's sake— was 
that dippy little joke about Lee what blew up the storm?" 

She stamped a bare foot. "I'll thank you not to mention his 
name again! Will you honor me by leaving, or shall I call my 
father?" 

Well, I'll be damned, he thought, and, "If you do, I shall 



126 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

scream," he mumbled. Louder he said, ''Rowena dear, for heaven's 
sake let's be adult and " 

She marched briskly to the window and pointed out rigidly. 
"For the last rime " 

Breaking off, she stared down into the darkness. In the hard 
silence a dog far off began to swear at a possum. The sound was 
so nocturnal that Caleb unconsciously wondered what time it was 
getting to be. 

''The ladder is down!" Rowena said, her eyes wide. 

He looked for himself. . . . Yes, the bloody thing must have 
canted sidewise in the sand, to topple with no more thud than a 
grapefruit. He was no grapefruit, however, he thought, and the 
drop from the sill was a longish free fall. . . . 

"Well, we may have to Rowena, my pet, Tm damned sorry 

I hurt your feelings, I really am. Believe me, I love Marse Robert, 
and Stonewall Jackson is a favorite of mine too. So why don't we 
just " 

"How are you going to get down? You'll be killed! And you 
can't be found here!" 

"Give me time. I'll sneak down the hall and stairs." 

"No you won't! You'd have to pass underneath Papa's open 
door. Oh, what are we going to do?" 

He glanced out the window and suddenly felt fed up. . . . That 
sand would be soft, or softer than buckshot, anyhow. Wearily he 
wondered how cornered jongleurs had gotten down castle walls 
when milords rattled miladies' bedchamber locks unexpectedly. . . . 

"Bosh," he said without stress. "Mrs. Bates, before I take this 
plunge, don't you think I could wait until your old man snores and 
then slip downstairs?" 

Rowena wrung her hands. "You can't tell, you can't tell! He 

keeps his light on anyhow, and sometimes he writes and drin 

He writes all night as it is. You'll have to get out this way some- 
how. I'm sorry, Caleb, but you simply have got to!" 

So he did. The fall jarred him, but the roll down the little 
slope kept it from being a bonebreaker. 

"Are you all right?" 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 127 

After hesitating with a reply ready, Caleb walked away in the 
silken night as the whisper was repeated. . . . 

A fine show for a man who had ventured court-martial to come 
hold her hands! She and her times and places "unbecoming"! He 
tried to tell himself that his experience was purely comic, like that 
one back in January with— oh. Stretch's little piece— Susan Whats- 
ername, but he failed to convince his irritated listener. Up until 
now the Susan business had been the damnedest ever, but tonight's 
really won the coffin with the petty-cash drawer! There had been 
some excuse for Susan, because she was young, green, and after 
all did behave like a woman, but with Bonnie Blue Flag back 
there, blast her, she'd held control as she wanted, relaxed it when 
she would, and took over as she pleased! . . . 

Oh, he was decidedly ruffled, but when he found the strip of 
beach where Rosemary Suggs had declared that Lordy yes, she 
would pick him up, Caleb cursed women again. The Negress was 
nowhere in sight. His only consolation was that early dawn showed 
the transports still at anchor— at least he couldn't be shot for deser- 
tion. But as the light broke stronger he knew also that there was 
no chance of creeping back on the Yucatan without being seen, 
whether Rosemary turned up now or not. 

Squaring his shoulders and dusting his knees, he sauntered to 
the pier. . . . Might as well push out to the tub in style. He hailed 
one of the naphtha launches, knowing fully that by his un- 
authorized presence on it he would stand indicted before the guard 
at the top of the boatswain's ladder. Ladders, ladders, ladders— 
the messy night was full of nothing but ladders! . . . 

Corporal Seiffert had the guard. 

"Where the hell was you at, Foureyes?" 

Caleb smiled bitterly. "I had to go back for— my gloves," he 
said. "Present my compliments to the general and tell him we can 
leave any time now." 

It is a matter of record that, following Trooper Hawkins's words, 
a new mark was posted for speed of military incarceration. 



(L.^«s^^<L.ij5'^«s^^(L^^>^«^^^<L.^^0^^Ci^^>^^^ 



PART III 



Summer: Cuba 



Deus vult. 

—Motto of the Crusaders. 
In'sh' Allah. 

•—Motto of the Saracens. 

War may be an aimed angel on a mission, 

hut she has the personal habits oi the slums. 

—Rebecca Harding Davis (i860). 



XV 



The benign god of battles who had the Fifth Corps in trust 
watched it lurch on to Cuba without more serious incident than 
the jettisoning of dead horses. The Spaniards had not been so 
lucky centuries before, when sailing against another island and 
after far better preparation. No storms or Don Francisco Drakes 
harassed America's Invincible Armada in June of '98, for the benign 
god smiled when he did not laugh aloud. 

The convoy, paced by its slowest ship, which towed a water- 
loaded schooner, mushed along at three knots after an early at- 
tempt to hurry had strung the transports one to a mile over forty 
miles of seascape. Colonel Roosevelt was to recall in a memoir 
how they had "sped onward past Guantanamo Bay/' but as a lover 
of poetry— "especially the poetry of action"— the colonel must have 
remembered the three-knot speed as symbolically fast. However, 
the conquistadors of '98 did arrive off the Cuban coast because 
days were sunny, nights were calm, and the ocean was as empty of 
Spaniards as it had been in 1491. Everyone felt just fine, if none 
smelled so, and though a few may have voiced anxieties, these 
were drowned in the ragtime beat of the bands. 

"Billy Shafter's gone to sea, silver buckles on his knee," another 
correspondent, John Fox, muttered to Warren the night before 
they sighted Cape Maisi. 

"Instead of paraphrasing Mother Goose, my friend," Warren 



132 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

said, "why not borrow directly from the famihar language of the 
picnic posters? 'Come all ye to the gala fish fry and moonlight 
cruise/ I wonder what would happen if those Spanish destrcryers 
cut in on us this minute?'* 

Fox scratched his chin. On the deck below a band had found 
elbowroom for its trombonists and was ragging "Slide Down the 
Cellar Door." Suspendered soldiers were playing cards, fighting, 
or sleeping in grotesque attitudes on hatches, under lifeboats, and 
with feet in one another's faces. The lights of the VigiJancia 
wantoned across the ocean as part of the grand illumination of the 
convoy generally. 

Fox shuddered. "Perish your thought. Let's hope the Navy can 
take care of any cabaJIeros who try to get gay." 

Both watched the approach of an escorting torpedo boat, one 
of those which had been racing continually among the ambling 
steamers like cow ponies. The snappy megaphone handling of 
their young skippers entertained the troops, who were happy to 
reply when otherwise unengaged, since the transport captains 
seemed to hear only when they pleased. 

"Ahoy, the VigiJancia/" 

A lounger from the 71st New York returned, "Ahoy yourself, 
bub. What's the ticket?" 

"Who's your S.O.P.?" 

"That'd be kind of tough to say," the railbird shouted. "We 
got a mess of them. What bastid was it you wanted?" 

Annapolis never had taught that ensign that life on the ocean 
wave could be like this, Warren thought. 

"Come off the comedy! Who's the senior officer present?" 

"Oh, that S.O.P.! Why, I believe he's downstairs taking a snooze, 
so you better run along, sonny. If you rouse him he'll gut you like 
a flounder." 

Aside from the diversion of such interservice co-operations^ 
Warren had found little to do but play with his field outfit. He was 
more than ever grateful for Richard Harding Davis's advice when 
he compared his gear with other reporters'; although he had not 
been able to ship a horse for riding or packsaddle use, he had 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 133 

been guided by R. H. D/s impatience with those men who boasted 
of traveling Hght. 

"Anybody can 'rough it with the best of them/ " the Gibson 
Man had said, "but give me the bunkie who can be comfortable 
when 'the best of them' are roughing it. Watch your old-time 
sergeants; when they go into camp every one builds a shelter and 
acts as though he intended to stay there the rest of his life." 

Warren therefore sorted and discarded on the assumption that 
every man would be his own pack mule, and practiced making a 
bedroll with the advice of a dry-tongued corporal and to the 
amusement of five other reporters who shared his stateroom. He 
bore their gibes with a trace of Dutch smugness; not only R. H. D. 
but Dad, with whom Warren had camped about Lancaster County 
during his boyhood, would have approved. Into his blanket and 
poncho roll he put spare clothing, towels, housewife, shaving stick 
and razor, tin hurricane lamp, and a box of medicines— cholera 
drops, iodine, and vaseline, mainly. In his haversack, besides ra- 
tions, he planned to carry an extra pair of shoes, aluminum cooking 
kit, vest-pocket camera, and a shabby copy of Gracian's Art oi 
Prudence, which had been a last-minute purchase in Tampa. 
Gracian, he thought, looked like good practice for him and his 
Spanish phrase book and dictionary. 

At his sides would hang a small safety ax and knife; around his 
neck a pair of binoculars he had acquired by trading a revolver to 
Fox. The six-shooter had annoyed Warren — in his bedroll it would 
be useless when needed, probably, but he felt harassed by it when 
it dragged at his breeches and discommoded his shirttails. 

"You might need a gun to impress a native guide or a tough 
muleskinner," R. H. D. had cautioned, but Warren, although he 
bought a Smith and Wesson, doubted if he could hit anything with 
a revolver that he couldn't reach with the butt. In the end he got 
rid of it simply because he thought he looked silly— you expected 
to see guns on Rough Riders as you did breasts on women, but a 
shooting iron banging at his own hip, he felt, was as ludicrous as a 
Tibetan prayer wheel or a sack of faucet washers. 



134 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

On the morning of the twentieth, after a week at sea, Fox 
called him on deck. 

"Land ho, again. Pipe the Seguranca— where are they taking that 
kettle, I wonder?" 

Stephen Bonsai, a correspondent who had gone with the kettle, 
told them later: 

''We had to call on Garcia, the general and the admiral and I, 
because the Cuban was too rocky from having 'seasicked himself 
during a shipboard visit to Sampson. By the way, it's true that old 
Garcia has a hole in his head— right between the eyes; he tried to 
kill himself to escape torture ten years ago, fired a shot under the 
chin that came out above, and since the top hole never has healed 
he keeps it plugged with cotton. Anyhow—his tatterdemalions 
were so glad to see us that they waded out to carry the whole party 
ashore on their backs, but you should have seen the expressions on 
the faces of those who took Shafter! Once beached, they produced 
a little white mule to tote him up the mountain— it was recom- 
mended for having mucho corazon, and Pablito needed his stout- 
heartedness, for his knees bent under the general. 

"We four newspaper boys— Davis, Remington, and Whitney 
were the others— wanted to sit in on the planning of the landing, 
of course, but Shafter had us thrown out. However, small pitchers 
have wide ears and a Cuban bohio is not soundproof.'' 

Bonsai rolled his tongue in his cheek and smiled. "So we— ah— 
overheard. Maybe the fact that we were caught eavesdropping was 
the reason the general ordered all reporters to remain on the trans- 
ports until after the troops were landed. Dickie Davis didn't soothe 
the general any, either, by tackling him for his plan of battle, for 
the fat boy was— shall we say reticent? Shafter really blew up when 
Dickie protested that he was no mere reporter, but a 'descriptive 
writer,' and the general snapped that he'd damned well be treated 
precisely like the rest of us wretches. You know, from his colorful 
language, I suspect the general doesn't like reporters. It's a pity, too, 
for the old mountain puma, as some of his friends call him, is a 
rather decent sort. He showed real distress at the condition of the 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 135 

mamhis who are our allies, and had kindly words for the least of 
them. 

"Well, the council of war decided on Daiquiri " 

Daiquiri. Not originally, as Warren and Stephen Bonsai lived to 
hear, a drink for people who dislike martinis, but the first army- 
navy beachhead. 

No one slept the night before the landing. Launches scurried 
among the Yankee armada delivering orders: the commanding gen- 
eral directs that you be ready to land at dawn, every man taking a 
hundred cartridges and two days' rations, and every ship being left 
with two watchmen. . . . The C.G. directs that every man take 
all his ammunition, and you will leave three watchmen. . . . The 
C.G. has decided that every man shall take a hundred rounds, as 
previously directed. ... 

If the general's staff was tripping over its feet from excitement, 
so were the doughboys. They burrowed in the higgledy-piggledy 
cargoes to find entrenching tools; they tore barrels and cases to 
find coffee, hardtack, and sowbelly which would serve for three 
days' rations, and trampled over food which would not. Regimental 
doctors demanded to know how they were to find their field chests 
and put them ashore, and many decided they were above the coarse 
labor of their responsibility. Teamsters powwowed about the draft 
mules: no docks? no piers? then how for the love of The ani- 
mals themselves, smelling trouble, whinnied and kicked in the 
fetid holds. 

During the night mysterious fires lit the shore line and musketry 
crackled faintly over the surf, and some transport captains who 
were more concerned for their owners' ships than the dither of 
the Army put out to sea as far as twenty miles. One vessel, con- 
taining the Catling guns of the furious Lieutenant Parker, man- 
aged to lose itself for the day. 

In his cabin General Shafter remembered the catastrophes which 
had ruined the English before Havana and the French in Santo 
Domingo in colonial times, and prayed. In the dank brig of the 
Yucatan, Trooper Hawkins and his fellow prisoners cursed the 
galloping rats and wondered what day it was. 



136 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

Warren Spangler cat-napped through the noisy night as best he 
could, after packing his horseshoe roll. That he must not go ashore 
until permitted bothered him as little as it did most of the corre- 
spondents; his worry rather was how to hitch a ride on some navy 
pinnace or press yacht, and he decided that if all other means 
failed he would swim, and pick up his gear later. 

When he mounted to the boat deck he saw that, if the order 
regarding the reporters was being treated lightly, so was the one 
requiring the brigades to land at dawn. Day was full and clear over 
the Sierra Maestra behind Daiquiri before the first landing craft 
were manned. The village which had flamed in the night still 
smoked sullenly, a train of ore gondolas blazed near a factory 
someone said belonged to the Spanish-American Iron Company, 
but of human life ashore Warren saw none. On the crest of a peak 
to the right of the partly burned town he espied a military block- 
house, but through his binoculars he could detect no movements 
there, either; the flagpole was bare, and the fort seemed as subdued 
as the huts along the cove. 

At about eight o'clock, when he got hungry and mooched hot 
coffee and cold beans from a Seventyfirst sergeant, Warren watched 
naval boats taking the first troops from the Seguranca while he 
munched. The highest powers within the Naval Department had 
told the Secretary of War that its sailors must not ''be fatigued by 
the labor incident to landing," but subordinate commanders who 
had not been informed that they were to be churlish had promised 
facilities to the commanding general, who therefore troubled to 
tow only two barges of his own, losing one on the way. However 
fatiguing landing might be for the sailors, the soldiers' spirits were 
high, Warren noted, for they leaped into the dangerously bobbing 
boats with Halloween shrieks, mindless of breaks or sprains, and 
laughed fit to split when some tanglefoot fell overboard. Steam 
launches stood in close to tow files of boats shoreward, while others 
puffed out over the horizon to hunt the most prudent of the trans- 
port masters. 

The troops' eager stomachs turned when the boats in which they 
bounced remained motionless except vertically and sideways, be- 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 137 

cause the guns of the fleet opened on Daiquiri. Warren spilled 
beans down his chin at the first thunderclap, and watched the 
awful execution of bamboo shanties, convinced that no mortals 
could survive among the geysers of dirt, until he saw men running 
along the shore waving Cuban flags. The gunners of Admiral Samp- 
son were not to be denied, however, so the Cubans dusted for 
cover until the fireworks should peter out. By midmorning the 
gunners tired, and the small boats began to take in their seasick and 
deafened cargoes. Straight at the unknown shore they went, and 
marvelously returned unscathed during the day for more men, 
more men, more men . . . 

Among whom was Trooper Hawkins, under full pack and a sus- 
pended court-martial. After two weeks in a lightless brig the tropi- 
cal sun blinded Caleb, and Horace Bigod had to lead him to the 
rail by the hand. 

"Throw down your stuff after I get in, Foureyes," the Indian 
said. ''We'll fox the Noodle. If a hard look could push, you'd be 
overboard already." 

When the towing launch cast them loose they pulled for a low 
wooden pier beside a high iron one. For the moment only five or 
six boats were discharging there, and the navy coxswain in charge 
of Caleb's decided to shorten his beaching time this trip, rather 
than to be safer and run aground. 

"Anyhow, on the beach we might get tangled up with these 
jackasses swimming alongside," the sailor said. 

"Anybody we know?" asked Horace. 

"They'll raise hell with the landing— not that if s any great 

shakes now, but making a goddam Noah's Ark Now look! The 

poor critters are shoving out to sea! What mental midget heaved 
them overboard, anyhow?" 

"Want them in here with us, Jackie?" Caleb said. "We're no 
cozier than a can of worms, so I guess we could make room." 

"You two funny men," said the sailor, "just get me. Mclntyre 
and Heath, I presume?" 

"Hey, hsten!" Horace said. 

A bugle and a bell sounded from the crowded beach. 



138 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

"Good stuff!" Caleb shouted. "Somebody's blowing 'Right- 
wheel/ and there— there's the guy with the bell! The horses know 
the bugle command and the mules are following the bell. Now 
that's discipline, hey, Jackie?" 

"Corking," the sailor said. "They ought to of tried it on you 
swabs, but maybe your ears wasn't long enough." 

"Dry up, admiral. Here's the wharf," Horace said. 

Unloading was tricky because the combers were playful and the 
pier planks were unnailed to the stringers. A team of naked men, 
among whom the Rough Riders recognized several friends, were 
plunging under the pilings to bring up lost packs and rifles. 

"Two boys drowned here so far," one of the panting divers said, 
"so take it easy." 

"You'd think the crummy engineers would have done something 
about this, wouldn't you?" Caleb grumbled as they picked their 
way over the rattling boards. 

"Write them a letter," Horace said, dropping his pack in the 
sand and gazing about slowly. "So this is Cuba. My, I'm getting 
traveled." 

They had not much time to stare, for their regimental color 
sergeant came by with the Rough Riders' own silk flag, and with 
the look of eye that says, "I want volunteers for a detail— you and 
you and you." 

"You two," the sergeant said, "come here. I got a little detail 
from General Wheeler himself. See that blockhouse up yonder? 
That's where we're going— alley oop!" 

"How?" asked Caleb. 

Sergeant Wright looked at him with the enthusiasm of a hermit 
for a bath. " 'How' is a word the Army uses when it lifts a shell of 
beer— we'll climb, you knothead! What did you think we'd do, 
take a funicular railroad?" 

"I only asked." 

"I only told you. Let's get going." 

Warren, too, beat his way ashore in the late afternoon and came 
across a haggard Stephen Crane lying under a broken wagon and 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 139 

observing the turmoil of the beach. Crane's eyes were jaundiced 
and bloodshot— ''out of punctility to the imperial colors of Cuba/' 
he told Warren with forced cheerfulness, but his lips twitched 
as he said the words. 

''What in the n-name of God happened to you after you left us 
in Tampa, Steve?" 

"Guantanamo," Crane said. "It also happened to a few marines. 
No sleep— all the argument at night, you see. We lay two or three 
to a hole in the dark and waited for guests to call. I trust you and 
the Army have been well?" 

"Sure, but lie down. Can I g-get you some water?" 

"No, thanks. Stretch." Crane smiled and added, "That was my 
job at Guantanamo. Gunga Din Crane ... I came up here on a 
navy cruiser to have a looksee. Some shambles, isn't it?" 

Up and down the shore for hundreds of yards men milled about 
in the sand hauling at boats, hunting their units, piling crates, dry- 
ing their clothes. Some wore trousers and were bare-chested, some 
wore shirts and nothing else, many were stark. Rifle stacks fell over 
when they were left unattended, haversacks and rolls lay tumbled 
about among a litter of wrecked boats, tin cans, newspaper, dis- 
carded drawers, and flotsam from the fleet. Warren noticed even 
a crushed tuba lying half sunk at the edge of the water. 

He grimaced dismay at Crane. "Reminds me of the general 
tidiness of a Philadelphia cat house any Monday morning," War- 
ren said. "I'm glad I took pictures to prove I've seen what I've 
seen." 

Missouri canaries trotted about, heehawing and enjoying being 
chased by sweating skinners, and near by a burly Negro infantry- 
man announced his intention of "cutting on" the so-and-so who'd 
swiped his sunburn cream. Three ulcerous Cubans among the 
dozens scavenging the beach took to their heels; the campaign's 
first lesson of proprietorship was on: that thing belongs to him 
who can carry it, and remains his if he sits on it. 

A small boy, of all unexpected sights, and obviously white and 
American, ran panicked after a civilian teamster, yelling, "Hey, 
Spike, wait for me!" A few soldiers were sneaking drinks; with the 



140 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

unerring nose common to all privates since the time of the hoplites, 
they had found bottles of native rotgut abandoned by the flown 
Spaniards. Driftwood fires crackled as other troops of Lawton and 
Wheeler took advantage of their chance to fry hardtack in bacon 
grease before they should have to move on. 

Out at sea the motley fleet of side-wheelers, yachts, warships, 
and ocean liners fouled one another and profane tooting echoed 
from the cliffs. 

"Stretch! What's going on up there?" 

Warren swung his glasses to follow Crane's pointing finger, up 
the green scarp of Mount Losiltires to the blockhouse on its peak, 
up the walls to the flagstaff. Tiny figures on the cupola waved their 
hats to those below. 

V/ithin a minute everyone saw what Crane had spotted, and to 
use a tested stereotype, they made the welkin ring when they 
recognized the flag. The ocean liners roared, yacht and tug whistles 
piped, the warships saluted, and soldiers afloat and ashore let off 
their rifles while they whooped and swung their hats. 

Warren felt a rasping lump rise in his throat. It was a memorably 
maudlin instant, and he never forgot it. 

'1 wonder who hoisted it?" Crane said. "We'll have to find out." 

A volunteer without breeches pounded Crane's back and 
shouted, 'Til pledge me faith he was an Irishman!" 

"Rats!" someone else said, not disagreeably. "The Irish eat — -" 
and mentioned a waste. A fight began almost gleefully. 

"Who did raise it?" voices cried. 

Three Rough Riders and a reporter named Marshall looked 
down on the ant soldiery from the top of Losiltires and smiled. 

"They like our flag, mister," Sergeant Wright said. 

Marshall smiled amiably. "I guess it was better to run yours up 
rather than the Journal's," he said, and refolded Mr. Hearst's flag. 

Rapid tropic darkness fell on a coast dotted with dog tents, 
quickly thatched huts, and campfires, and Warren walked among 
them marveling. When he finished his tour he brought back a 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 141 

demijohn of muscatel on which Crane sucked himself to sleep. 
The stars came out against a jeweler's velvet sky to watch over the 
ships, the town, and the camp of an army whose badge was a 
toothbrush stuck in the cords of a campaign hat. 

One by one the dice games faded, the poker players quit, and 
the sportsmen who were racing tarantulas crushed their captives 
before rolling into their blankets. Leaping nudes who had capered 
about the sinking fires crawled under shelter, 'Trankie and John- 
nie" quartets fell silent, Cubans ended their rumbas and hand 
clapping, and a few of Daiquiri's dogs skulked back to prowl. Only 
the jungle against the mountain screamed and clattered, as the 
jungle always had at night. 

Cuba was invaded. 



XVI 



Two little green lizards were playing tag in the caramel-colored 
rafters of the house. As the personification of the New York 
Journal, Edward Marshall had been offered the place by grateful 
Cubans and had shared his fortune with Crane and Warren. The 
lizards, as well as a sluggish rat snake and various insects, went 
with the house, an unsheathed affair resembling a type of low 
vertebrate which wears the skeleton outside. 

Stephen Crane took a second look at the lizards to be sure they 
were genuine and finished reading Warren's account of the land- 
ing. 

'1 should say that's a rattling good job," he said, handing it back. 

Praise from such a source was silver bells and sweet milk to 
Warren, but he frowned and pretended dissatisfaction. 

''Maybe I ought to tighten it up more, so that it won't rattle 
quite so much." 

Crane began to stuff a bulldog pipe but declined further com- 
ment. He was essentially a retiring man whose kindhness often 
tripped up his preference for let-be's-best; it had been bad enough 



142 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

not to be able to refuse to read the work of a freshman professional 
who doubtless would be sensitive if the truth had to be rubefacient, 
but Crane's head ached besides. The wine of the night before had 
drugged him into a sleep which was welcome despite the dreams, 
but its sedative sweetness cloyed him now. He took the pipe out 
of his mouth unlighted, looked at it, and thrust it abruptly back 
into a torn pocket. He decided that watching the lizards might be 
less disturbing. 

'Trisky devils— I wonder what they're called?" he said. 

Warren's mind was worlds away from natural history. "I don't 
know. Say, Steve, I wonder if the Dauntless or one of the other 
A.P. boats might still be down at the cove? I'd like to send this 
off before we follow the Army. Ed Marshall's been gone to Siboney 
since sunrise, and we'd better " 

"Why didn't you go with him?" 

"W-well, y-you know, I " 

Crane smiled. ''Thanks, Stretch. But all I needed was a good 
night's sleep." 

''Bushwa— you ought to see yourself! Sweating, cold to the touch, 
and a skin the color of a week-dead mackerel. You've got a calen- 
ture. Steve, we ought to have horses— you can't traipse after the 
Army afoot, and that's that. Do you ride?" 

Crane was a superb horseman, but he said merely, "Some. Go 
find the tug," and closed his eyes on a wave of nausea. 

The tall young man with the hot story in his hand which he 
felt would not keep went out into the heat waving up from the 
squalid little street with the smell of an opened tomb. He hur- 
ried to the airier beach to find most of the grand armada gone, 
and most of the campers of the night before. ... It was magical, 
he thought: all that commotion just a few hours before of which 
little was left but scattered trash. You almost expected to see 
whitewings appear with collecting cans and brooms, and jabbers 
to pick up gum wrappers, as they did after a Sunday-school outing 
in Fairmount Park. . . . But Lawton's men were gone to Siboney, 
a few miles westward, to secure it for the landing of the main body, 
and Wheeler's casuals had followed. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 143 

Only a few companies of volunteers and quartermasters re- 
mained, and some vessels designated to unload at Daiquiri. Warren 
scanned the sea for the tug he hoped would carry his dispatch to 
the cables at Jamaica; the shimmering water made his head ache, 
and he found he was walking more slowly than usual. The woolen 
abdominal bandage a doctor had recommended for the prevention 
of dysentery itched him ferociously, and between spells of mild 
vertigo he wondered what the symptoms of sunstroke were, so 
that he did not notice the Cuban fishing at the wooden pier 
where two men had drowned the day before. 

The fisherman himself was intently hauling in a wet cartridge 
belt, but when he had spread it to dry among the rest of his catch 
-—mess kits, blankets, shelter halves— he doffed his broad straw hat 
graciously. 

"Buenas dias, sehor. You are looking for somebodies, maybe?" 

Warren took him in with a fretful glance: a stocky black man 
wearing a grin, a conical hat, and a pair of diseased canvas pants. 
No, Warren said, he was not looking for anybody, but for a tug- 
boat with a banner around its wheelhouse that said **The Asso- 
ciated Press.'' Until the Cuban answered, Warren did not realize 
that he had presumed both literacy and a knowledge of printed 
English of a Negro beachcomber, but the other said: 

'Tou ask the O.K. guy, senor. Tomas Quemaduras, he read the 
American talk if he's not much hard. Tomas, he's live in New 
York, you catch?" 

"No," Warren said, interested, "I didn't catch." 

Tomas shrugged and spread his hands. 'Tero si, on the square, 
no kidding. Tomas, he is dandy plug-ugly. Work on docks— Pier 
Sixteen, North River. He plenty smart." 

The accent, Warren thought, never could be reduced to lino- 
type; plug-ugly, which he hoped Tomas was not, could only be 
approximated and never caught by ''ploog-ooglee." 

"Is that so? Well, did you see the boat with the Associated Press 
sign?" 

"These kind word like Ass Press, she's hard. Por favor, write her 
on the dirt." 



144 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

Warren did so. Tomas's glistening face screwed about and 
studied the block letters upside down after he had failed to recog- 
nize them right side up. 

"No see him. No Ass Press boat here." 

The finality convinced Warren the man knew what he was talk- 
ing about, so he was discouraged, and his disappointment was not 
lost on the quondam "seet-ee-zen" of New York. Tomas scratched 
himself simultaneously in three places— his wool with one hand, 
his crotch with the other, and his left calf with the arch of the 
right foot— and for further proof of versatility found wit to remark: 

"This Ass Press, she's warship maybe you jump her? How you 
say— desert?" 

"Not that, no." 

"Ah, you are then maybe soldier that desert?" 

"No, Vm a— a"— Warren thumbed his phrase book— "a jornal- 
ista." 

Tomas was unconvinced but polite as hell, Warren saw. "Ah 
so, a joTnalista. But if the senor are soldier running away, Tomas 
he understand. Muy mucho! He desert Cuban Army one time, 
Tomas. Not so good, the Cuban Army— not like work on docks in 
New York City, ay/ You know this New York City, senor?" 

"Yes. Do you know Philadelphia?" 

"Ah, Phil-lee!" the beachcomber shouted happily, opening a 
maw like a crocodile's. "He joke you make! No such place, Phil- 
lee— you tell joke like funny fellow in New York teatro de vari- 
edadesr 

"Have it your ovm way," Warren said. 

Thought of the missing Dauntless sobered him. It began to look 
as though writing about the campaign might be easier than for- 
warding the stories. If communication were this uncertain now, 
when the Army moved inland how would he send them to a 
Kingston-bound boat? When he had considered the means before- 
hand, it had not seemed difficult; but now he was chagrined to re- 
member that he'd half expected something like Western Union 
messengers to run errands in Cuba. Some of the correspondents, 
he knew, were going to entrust their writings to obliging teamsters 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 145 

and army officers bound for depot areas— Siboney would be the first; 
others were working in partnerships if, unHke the big dailies' 
men, they alone represented their papers. Crane had not suggested a 
working arrangement, and had come down with some vomito 
besides. 

"Gracias, anyhow,'' he told Tomas, and started away. 

'Wait, senor, wait! Maybe you hire asfstente, no?" 

Warren pulled at his ear and wondered why he hadn't thought 
of it himself. Fox, Davis, and Bonsai had related tales of servants 
who had been invaluable— if scamps— whom they'd had in Greece 
or China or wherever, and surely R. H. D. would find himself an 
asistente in Cuba as ordinarily as he would shave. 

''Who do you recommend?" Warren said, baiting the self-testi- 
monial. 

The Cuban drew himself up, looked Warren squarely in the 
collarbone, and gripped the sand with his long toes. He slapped his 
bare chest. 

"Me, Tomas Benjaminito Hilario Quemaduras! He is New York 
fellow, he tell you already, but you forget. Me— sharp kid." 

'Til work the rest of those pants off you." 

"Nada, nada/ Tomas work on Cuban Army salinas for to punish 
him— Jesus mio, she is re-al work, those places! He work for you 
good to please, cheap. He cook, he make camp, he wash, he steal, 
he sing good too. O.K., boss?" 

"Well, I don't know about the singing, but I'll try you awhile. 
Let's go— I've got to get going." 

"Boss, you very smart fellow." 

The squat man turned and whistled shrilly between broken front 
teeth, and stopped Warren dead. At the signal two hairy faces 
rose slowly from behind an overturned ore car; dark, dirty, and 
spread-eared, both were. One was a donkey's, but the other was 
a man's, the ugliest human being Warren ever had seen apart from 
the race of city editors. 

''Joigel Quesir Tomas screamed, beckoning sharply. "Animense/ 
Hump yourselfs!" 

"What in the world " Warren said. 



146 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

The shaggy pair approached with no especial hump or dash that 
he could notice, but Tomas swept a hand toward them proudly. 

"Jorge and Quesi, friends of me. So, friends of you." To the two 
he said succinctly, ''El Boss.'' 

"Now look here " Warren began. 

Tomas raised a forefinger, checking him. "El Boss not worry 
about these people, no more like pieces of wood. Tomas are pay 
from you, so are pay Jorge and Quesi— same time, same thing. Big 
bargain." 

"Tomas, I can't allow it! Tm already wondering how I'm going 
to feed you alone." 

"Boss, soldier camp he have grub?" 

"Sure." 

"They got to sleep sometimes, no?" 

"Certainly, but " 

"O.K.— we eat," said Tomas, and that was an end to it. 

On the way back to the shanty where he had left Crane, Warren 
discovered that Jorge was a mute. Somehow he had expected that 
a creature who looked so much like the Wild Man of Borneo he'd 
seen in circus cages would be dumb, but when he heard how Jorge 
had come by his trouble Warren was horrified. 

"Jorge no talk when Espanish capitan ask questions," Tomas 
said, "so Espanish soldier he cut the tongue of him. They think, 
'He no talk when must talk, no talk never!' " 

"Good God!" 

Tomas shrugged wearily. "Espanish officer he's estupid. Jorge, 
he never talk much smart, anyhow. He like New York fellow say- 
cuckoo, si?" Tomas twirled a finger at his temple in the intema- 
tional gesture. "But Quesi and me, they love him. He strong, and 
he never lie." 

Warren fought down a desire to run, saying idiotically, "She's 
a nice little girl. I wish I had an apple for her." 

"She not know the apple, but she smarter as Jorge, anyhow. 
They sleep same bed, eat same things— only Jorge, he like meat. 
Also they talk." 

"Now, really, Tomas!" 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 147 

"Show El Boss, Jorge/' Tomas said. 

The Pithecanthiopus erectus grinned and began to utter gob- 
bles. The donkey canted an ear attentively and snorted when the 
mute had finished, after which she moved close to Warren, 
dropped a curtsy, and returned to Jorge's side. The hairy man 
grinned at Warren again, rubbing the space between Quesi's ears. 

"You catch?" said Tomas. "She love you now too, because Jorge, 
he say so." 

Warren said, "I must be dreaming. I did not see thatr . 

"No dreaming," Tomas said, "but pretty soon time for siesta'' 

Crane was impatient to move, and wondered what was detain- 
ing his comrade. He threw his few articles into a sack, which was 
his method of packing, and sat smoking on the porch of the house 
when Warren and his retainers arrived. The pipe sagged in Crane's 
teeth when he saw them. 

"Who the living hell " 

Warren waved his hand airily. "Friends of me. So, friends for 
you. And we're all hungry. This is Tomas Something Something 
Quemaduras " 

Tomas bowed. 

"—and the other two-legged one is Jorge Astilloso." 

Tomas kicked Jorge, who bowed. 

"The donkey's name is Quesi." 

Jorge guggled to the donkey, who curtsied. 

Crane held his head. All he could say was, "Casey? Casey? As 
in Casey at the Bat?'' 

Warren struck a fist into his palm. "Steve, you're sharp! How 
did you guess? I didn't catch that right off. Tomas had to tell me 
how he found her one day— 'found' is his word— and named her 
to spite the memory of a dock foreman on Pier Sixteen. You see, 
Steve— Tomas, he's O.K. fellow from New York." 

Tomas said, "You bet. Sharp kid." 



0i^ 






,48 (^l/J*'"'" ^. THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

0\ 



Ji.^ 



XVII 



The bugles assembled the Rough Riders when the sun was well 
up. Columns already had gone up the Siboney Road, also cavalry 
of Young's brigade swinging along on shanks' mare, sweating their 
woolen shirts black and soaking the contractors' blue dye into 
their skins in some instances. Ahead of them still farther had 
marched Lawton's footsloggers, dispatched by the worried com- 
manding general to hold Siboney for a week until he could land 
sufficient supplies to make a full-dress thrust at Santiago. Young's 
superior, General Wheeler, however, wanted his cavalry to be first 
to hit the enemy, those stinkards whom in excited moments the 
reformed Confederate confused with "the damyankees." Hence, in 
the teeth of Shafter's order of march, the courtly old fire-eater sent 
part of his division hell-bent after the doughboys to overtake and 
pass them. 

High-echelon jealousy was unknown to Troopers Hawkins and 
Bigod, naturally. Caleb was damning the Army and Cuba impar- 
tially because a concourse of bugs had savaged his legs to the groin; 
his red bunkie was prowling the bush, crushing leaves and sniffing 
until he found a mess of herbs likely to do the sufferer some good. 
Horace had struck their shelter, unshipped blanket hammocks 
from trees, and packed when the orders came to move, but they 
waited under pack in the sun for some time without moving until 
another order was relayed: 'Tall out, but stay put, hear?" 

That's the way things went in the Army, the westerners thought. 
You always was lined up in a jack-rabbit hurry to stand and wait 
till the officers asked one another what the hell you was lined up 
for. This time, though, the delay was horse trouble; the officers 
didn't have mounts to go around, or something, or something, 
and our Teddy was roaring his saddle was missing. Finally a news- 
paper feller gives him one he hadn't no more use for than a corset 
nor a pipe organ. And, pack mules being scarcer than sheepherd- 
ers in paradise, Colonel Wood's fine Kentucky mare got herself 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 149 

hung around with cook pots. The donks, who could pull anything 
that was loose at both ends, had all they could do to tote the 
machine guns and ammunition; one also fetched along Doc 
Church's iodine and castor oil, 'peared like. 

The nine-mile march to Siboney lasted until ten at night, and 
for men more used to horseback than trudging it was a killer. For 
Caleb the misery was measureless by space and time; besides his 
fiery crotch, he had added two blisters to entertain him and had 
aggravated a cut by a clamshell on the sole of the other foot. The 
cut had been made the night before; under the sorcery of rum 
and the moon, he too had joined the rigadoons on the beach. 

"You were awful beautiful and white," Trooper Bigod said as 
he patted fresh clay poultices at Siboney, ''but I saw prettier once 
at a belly show in Harrisburg. Girls they were, and nice and fat. 
Roll over and smear on this goo. I put coconut milk in it; if it 
works ril take out a patent and make a million." 

Caleb moaned and buttered himself. Horace lay on his back and 
pipe-dreamed briefly. 

"Yes, a million, the way white men go for salves and physics. 
I can read the label now: Chief Two Strikes's Old Indian Formula 
for Bites, Piles, and Tetter. Effective also for the Botts, Female 
Weakness, and Scratches on Furniture. Why, that's sure-shot!" 

It rained later, as it had the first night and would every night, 
and things crept and crawled and fell in with Caleb to get sociably 
dry. Searchlights from the warships lit the busy shore where land- 
ings went on all night, men shouted, the jungle sassed back, and 
everything that could clink or clatter clinked and clattered while 
Caleb lay broad awake, hating Horace for being able to sleep. 

The bugles blew earlier in the morning than they had at 
Daiquiri; I-can't-get-'em-up was followed quickly by come-and-get- 
your-quinine, but soupy-soupy was skipped for the sufficient rea- 
son that every man was his own cookee. In the dark before dawn, 
revolver butts crushed coffee beans, bacon sizzled, and the Rough 
Riders breakfasted alfresco among the deserted mining shacks of 
Siboney. Caleb recalled broiled kidneys and eggs Benedict at the 
Bingham House back home and pounded his thumb while cracking 
his coflfee. Horace shook his head and clucked at him. 



150 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

"You're just going to save the Spaniards the bother of you, 
aren't you, brother?" 

Just before tropic dawn broke Hke an egg Lieutenant Colonel 
Roosevelt held a council of war, a quite democratic one, Caleb 
noticed, because it included two civilians, a Cuban, and a few 
private soldiers identifiable in the shadows by their stripeless pants. 
The confab ended in a round of saluting, and the colonel took off, 
tripping over the saber dangling under his long yellow slicker, 
and Captain Capron called for Sergeant Chisholm and Corporal 
Seiffert. 

The Noodle came back to his squad rubbing his hands and 
announced rather pompously, ''When we move out, L will lead off 
and this here squad'll do the honors at point." The satisfaction 
he oozed did not, however, blind the Noodle to his duty of swip- 
ing Tex Kingsland across the soles for not waking up when spoken 
to. 

Others of the squad contained their enthusiasm well also. "How 
did you work that there honor. Corporal?" Trooper Woodruff said, 
rubbing his carbine with a shirttail and spitting over his shoulder. 

"You " the Noodle began, but changed his mind. "Listen 

now, you farmers, because I ain't going to repeat. There are plenty 
dagos up four, five miles ahead near a place called Sevilla. The 
Cubans run into them yesterday and bounced off— gimme your 
attention, Hawkins, goddammit— I ain't talking just to save break- 
ing wind! So, we may be the first to hit them, and I want every 
man to keep his eyes open and mouth shut. Squadrons of the First 
and Tenth will parallel us on our right." 

His pale eyes scanned their faces. He must have seen enough 
tenseness to have satisfied him, for he grunted and finished briskly. 
"I don't want nobody throwing away their packs like they did yes- 
terday, neither. I'll skin the ass off the first thrushfoot I see trying 
to— personal! Check your belts and carbines good and quick now. 
That's all." 

They climbed a cliff behind the town to reach a trail so narrow 
and sunken that palmetto blades and saw grass slashed their faces. 
Loose rocks and vines tripped them, softer footing squelched under 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 151 

their boots like fresh cow manure, land crabs the size of platters 
and the colors of orchids wobbled away from them through the 
stinking jungle mud. Birds discussed the intrusion of their forest 
and the horseless cavalry answered back until the morning grew 
so warm that they could spare breath only for grumbling. 

Preceding the main body, and even ahead of the advance guard, 
rode Colonel Wood, Captain Capron, and two newspapermen^ 
Marshall of the Journal and Richard Harding Davis of the London 
Times^ Schhnei's Magazine^ and Broadway. They rode mules, push- 
ing hard to reach the enemy before the regulars who had taken the 
easier lowland road; the pace tortured Davis's sciatica, but he 
gritted his teeth and suffered in silence like a sahib. Not so the col- 
umn behind. They complained; in two painful miles thirty col- 
lapsed with heat prostration and castoff clothing festooned the 
bushes. Many of the First Volunteer Cavalry were not gentlemen. 

"Rough Riders, hell! Wood's Weary Walkers, that's what we 
are!" 

"My rupture's hanging out a yard." 

"Everything I got's hanging out a yard." 

"Silence in the ranks!" 

"Ah, dry up!" 

"Ooop— there goes Curly!" 

"Them athaletes up ahead are on the make for promotions, 
that's what." 

"Shut up, I said! Just shut up!" 

"If I ever catch the s.o.b. that's got wind enough to sting me 
with them blowballs, I'll cut his lights out!" 

Captain Capron kicked his mule back past the Noodle's strung- 
out squad to dismount and take post with the advance guard. Some 
of the growling subsided; the captain's action was interpreted for 
meaning business up ahead. The trail now had narrowed to com- 
press the regiment into a single file; dense undergrowth on its 
borders suddenly looked ominous, for no flanking patrols could 
work through it to warn the column of ambush. 

Caleb was the getaway man for the point, just behind Horace. 
He had forgotten his sore feet and crotch. 



152 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

"Is this it?" he whispered. 

''Don't know/' the Indian said, after hearing the question four 
times. His nostrils twitched; he seemed to be trying to smell Span- 
iards, Caleb thought, and was faintly dismayed at the unfamiliar 
look of his tentmate. He looked positively uncivilized. Caleb felt 
a passing gratitude that the Sioux was not sniffing for his blood. 

Through the blunderings of muddy feet Caleb heard the click- 
ing march of the land crabs and the strange bird cries again; a 
dove would call and be answered, cuckoos whistled and were an- 
swered, and Caleb noticed that the Indian squinted and peered 
for them, aware and suspicious—of what, he did not know. Caleb 
started when Horace suddenly ran forward to the head of the file, 
and tingled apprehensively when Seiffert raised a hand to halt 
the point. The Indian and the old Indian-fighter together exam- 
ined a strand of barbed wire which Horace had seen. The Spaniards 
were great on the stuff; trochas of wire ran the boundaries of 
Cuba's provinces, and also penned unreliable natives into the hide- 
ous campos de reconcentracidn, or enclosed the fat sugar planta- 
tions which the jungle had reclaimed during nine years of revolt. 

This wire was cut— newly cut— and the doves mourned louder 
on all sides. . . . 

Through Caleb's mind beat thoughts of fear and thirst, but he 
struggled with them. . . . Colonel Roosevelt had two shovels tied 
to his saddlebow — now, why? ... A palm had pushed up and 
through the roof of an abandoned house off right, as nice as you 
please. . . . Frozen top milk pushes the caps off bottles. . . . 
Here was another of the spectacular trees with the masses of scar- 
let flowers, and leaves like the locusts back home, sweet home. . . . 

The green tangle now arched completely over the patrol's heads, 
and Horace jogged back down through the hot shadow, muttering 
to every man as he passed. They looked at the magazines of their 
carbines. 

''Dead Cuban up ahead," he said, dropping to a walk beside 
Caleb. "Not one of our scouts— been had at overnight by varmints. 
Go tell the captain." 

But Capron had come up from the advance guard to investi- 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 153 

gate the halt. Perspiration seemed to drip even off the points of 
his blond mustache, and his tunic was glued to his back, but Caleb 
was cooled by his calm. 

"Sir," the Noodle said, "the main body's kicking up so much 
noise we can't " 

"Fve sent Lieutenant Thomas down the line," Capron said. 
"Where's the Cuban?" 

"He was right there. We drug him into the bushes and " 

The shooting interrupted Corporal Seiffert. It began with one 
trifling pow/ and a song overhead like a meadow lark's, but the six 
men of the United States Army who were closest in touch with 
Spain dived into the brush. None said a word but Trooper Wood- 
ruff, who disappeared headfirst into a patch of greenery which 
must have had thorns. 

Caleb peeped from behind his tree. Bullets rang like ice in a 
pitcher when they slit through leaves; one spatulate leaf of his 
cover, holed dead center, bled a sticky white milk on his hand, 
but he saw no enemy nor the smoke of their shooting. Had it not 
been for the pow-pows and the wounded leaf and the sight of 
Troopers Corrigan and Colescott lying still in the path, Caleb 
might have suspected a practical joke like the hundreds at San 
Anton'. 

He bounced a stone lightly off Corrigan's head, but Bigfoot did 
not stir. Caleb's impulse was unstudied; he thought later that he 
meant to warn the crazy 'breed that to try to hide from the in- 
visible Spaniards by shoving his face into the ground was classically 
stupid. Bigfoot was the man who especially had been deviled by 
the unknown joker with the blowgun and putty balls from earliest 
training days, so he surely would have jumped angrily when the 
pebble hit him. . . . 

A shot fired almost in his ear stunned Caleb. He whirled to see 
Trooper Murray working the action of his Krag and staring hard 
in the direction of his shot. Caleb remembered his own carbine 
then, and fired it without aim or deliberation. 

Murray said, "Hit him?" 

Caleb said, "No," and Murray crawled away, but Caleb was glad 



154 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

Munay had spoken to him. It reduced the minute to the propor- 
tions of a minute. 

Other carbines cracked, and the sounds of bayonets and 
machetes hacking at hanas on either flank meant that the other 
troops of the regiment were coming into hne with L. Caleb won- 
dered where Horace had gone, and was annoyed with himself for 
wishing the Indian were close by. 

"See anything, Bigod?" Sergeant Chisholm said, dropping be- 
hind a rock where the Indian lay. 

Horace said nothing, but shook his head and tore off his soaked 
undershirt. 

They fired a few rounds to tease the jungle. 

"We'd all do better if we could see something," the sergeant 
said, looking over the rock. He fell down and said, "Well, God! 
Fm nicked!" 

Horace looked at him without expression, but propped the 
man's back against the stone. He did not attempt to bandage the 
wound, collarbone high, which bled in bright spurts through Chis- 
holm's fingers. 

In a little while Chisholm said thickly, "No damn dago can kill 
—me," and died. 

Horace wedged the dead man's Krag into a crack in the top of 
the rock butt uppermost to mark the spot; then he took the ser- 
geant's canteen and poured what was left in it into his own, and 
slipped away to find another rock. 

Captain Capron opened his eyes and tried to see Surgeon 
Church. 

"Where are the machine guns? Why don't they bring up the 
machine guns?" he said. 

His head dropped on the chest of the rangy former Princeton 
football player who had pickabacked him to the dressing station. 
Blood ran from the corners of the captain's mouth over the doctor's 
chest. Church put the body down, tore off his sleeves to the shoul- 
der seams, and turned his attention to others. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 155 

Battle wounded behaved peculiarly, he thought; some raved, 
some prayed, others lay like death from the action of shock or 
drugs. But tvi^o began a fist fight and had to be parted by the medi- 
cal stev^ards, and another, v^ho at first the doctor thought v^as 
simply moaning in a delirious sort of v^ay, finally swelled his voice 
into recognizable sound. 

"Land where my fathers died. 
Land oi the Pilgiims* pride," 

he sang, and Church stopped work a moment to marvel. 

One or two more men lying under the long-leafed mango tree 
joined the singer in another chorus, but the surgeon went back to 
his business until his muscular arms were red to their pits. His 
fingers dripped too, and a helper had to shoo the clouds of flies 
that settled on his face. The lodadois had a better time with the 
wounded and were able to suck until they dropped off, full of the 
blood of men too weak to move or strike back. 

"Get ready— to move," Corporal Seiffert panted to Caleb. "We 
have contact— regulars. Watch— for signal." 

The big man disappeared, dodging to the next tree, his belly 
bouncing. A spongy hole suddenly showed in the tree trunk above 
Caleb's head, about opposite where the corporal's red face had 
been seconds before, and he realized when he counted other holes 
that a palm was no oak and felt betrayed. He sucked at his canteen. 

Murray stood up then and ran forward, crouching. Caleb hastily 
recapped his canteen to follow Fred's lead, feeling like a man get- 
ting himself together to flee a burning privy; if there had been 
a signal to advance, he had not seen or heard it. Troop L advanced 
in short rushes, breaking from the jungle into a hammock of tall 
grass where the sun dazzled them. Just behind him Caleb heard a 
stick hit a cushion, which after a suspended moment was followed 
by a thud; in the acute hushes of battle the sound of a wound and 
a fall sometimes carried a long way. 

He saw Lieutenant Day flailing a soldier over the head with his 



156 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

hat, and wondered where Capron and Thomas were; he saw 
Colonel Roosevelt a hundred yards left, waving a sword and pad- 
ding through grass slippery as horn, with the guidons of the sup- 
port troops behind him. The colonel fell, rose immediately, and 
threw away his scabbard with an irritation plain even at a distance, 
and the thin line behind the guidons, drunkenly spaced, pursued 
him slowly up the slope. Brave man, brave men, Caleb thought 
without quite understanding that he was himself an extension of 
their ragged line. 

The enemy was firing rolling volleys which hissed through the 
hip-high grass, miraculously over or short. Caleb jerked his last— 
his second— shot of the fight at a building on the hill which looked 
like a factory, to help the brave men. Then he applied himself to 
the more important task of plowing uphill through the scorched 
para grass, a task tough enough in itself, he felt unthinkingly, 
without wasting energy on aiming and shooting a gun. . . . 

The Spaniards said later that they felt secure in their distillery 
building and trincheras, and were at first contemptuous of the 
dogged line of imbeciles charging them— what sort of soldiers were 
bohos who ran at one as if to clutch with the bare hands? But the 
imbeciles came on, which was disquieting. Ciisto mfo, que modo 
raro de atacail The dons were pleased when orders came to with- 
draw, and did so in excellent order, taking all their wounded and 
—they said— a captured officer's cape 'Vith metal button with 
eagle." 

During the charge Caleb was joined for a time by a handsome 
civilian in laced boots and a state of exaltation, whom he recog- 
nized from pictures as Richard Harding Davis. The writer had a 
carbine, was directing soldiers, and occasionally falling— from his 
sciatica, which of course the men did not know about — and Caleb 
remembered quite casually that he had read somewhere in law 
that newspaper reporters were forbidden to shoot soldiers, even 
enemy soldiers. R. H. D. was no ordinary reporter, apparently, and 
hadn't heard about the closed season, Caleb thought, laughing 
when the combative noncombatant let ding v^th his Krag again. 

He lost sight of Davis when his attention was caught by a few 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 157 

men in blue and white running from the ruined factory. Spaniards! 
The Enemy that had been a headhne, a table topic, a creature out 
of Bulfinch— visible and alive! 

He saw two dead ones on the crest, their uniforms and cockades 
smeared with blackened blood, who repelled him nearly as much 
as Horace Bigod, whom he came upon too. Horace was in every 
sense literal and figurative a bloody mess: his eyes were black agate, 
his skin glistened and smelled as sharply as urine, and he was 
dabbled from face to shins with blood in all stages of freshness, 
possibly from a gash like a grinning mouth on one biceps. His 
uniform was a metal identity tag and a shred of drawers. 

''Horace! For the love of God! Horace/" 

The Indian wasted a glance on him, but went on shooting at the 
retreating Spaniards, squatting like a potter in the shallow clay 
trench. Caleb tugged at his unwounded arm, but Horace brushed 
him away with a show of teeth. 

A trooper of the Tenth, his brown face rich with sweat and 
curiosity, came to a sliding stop on his back beside them, after 
vaulting over the parados and losing his footing among the empty 
yellow cartridge cases of the Spaniards. 

''Say, man," the regular said, "is you an Indian?" 

Caleb wanted to tell the Negro to go away but was too inter- 
ested himself to hear what Horace might say. However, he said 
nothing. He threw back his head and gave a barking cry. 

''I wins!" the colored trooper yelled, jumping back out of the 
trench. "I wins, Jackson— he's a redskin! Don't you go a-getting 
yourself killed before you pays up, you hear?" 

Caleb took his first-aid kit from a breast pocket, tore it, and 
hurriedly studied the diagrams to find out how to bandage an 
upper arm, which he abruptly realized was a slightly silly thing to 
be leaming as late as now. 

"Take a breather while I plug you up," he told the bleeder. 

Horace snarled. Caleb hit him deftly on the point of the jaw to 
save words, and then wrapped the arm without trouble. ... It 
was the least he could do for a fellow who had gone to so much 
trouble for him in his miseries. 



158 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

When the "energetic httle skirmish" was done, the battle- 
pitched strength of the Rough Riders faded fast. They camped for 
the night on the battlefield itself, after the best ancient traditions, 
and despite their general torpor a few found energy to whittle their 
names on the trees which gave the locality its name. . . . Las 
guasimas are thomy, their nuts make good pig fodder, and their 
low, but not too low, branches are fine for gallows. 

At about noon the next day the regiment buried its dead in a 
common grave along the trail where the fight had begun. They 
spread the bottom of the trench with palm fronds, sang "Rock 
of Ages," and listened to an Episcopal chaplain pray, after which 
they went away. 

Caleb took along a footling souvenir of the burial service which 
in later years reminded him powerfully of the vultures overhead, 
and of the numbered markers he had helped make from cartridge- 
box lids. 

A little tin tube fell from Trooper Colescott's pocket when they 
lowered him into the trench beside his tentmate, Bigfoot Corri- 
gan. Nearly everyone else in the squad except Bigfoot knew that 
Colescott had brought the puttyblower to Cuba from San Antonio; 
no one told Bigfoot, however, who was forever stinging him, be- 
cause Bigfoot was the kind of man whose rages were entertaining. 
Caleb covered the faces of the stinger and the stung, and took 
away the shiny tube, thinking that Bigfoot damn well might resent 
having to spend eternity with both Black Bill Colescott and his 
bean blower. This was foolish of Caleb, but then he was very, very 
tired. 



f 
xviii 



A pink moon rose over the castle wall of mountain behind 
Siboney and surprised Warren mildly, for during the past sixty 
hours he had forgotten that moons rose. 

"Hello, friend moon," he said, "Fm glad to see you," and then 
he tumbled down the black chute which is the sleep of exhaustion. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 159 

Crane had an intuition that action impended Friday, and had 
spurred the party— including Casey, who resented haste— on the 
track of Young's skeleton brigade of Wheeler's cavalry. Young 
was a regular, and so were most of his men, and Crane preferred 
to follow professionals when he smelled promise of a fight; farm 
boys and plumbers' apprentices getting their red badges of courage 
not only sickened him but bored him, in his own professional role 
of reporter. He told Warren he expected Young's tough nuts to 
"conduct themselves without that sense of excellence which spoils 
excellence," too, for he mistrusted the Rough Riders— or that 
group of them who were dudes. "They have plenty of publicity 
as it is, anyway, and that is their fortune and curse. Give me 
Young's pork-and-beaners." 

So he and Warren left their traps at Siboney in charge of Tomas 
and were up for the opening of the regulars' battle on the right 
of the Rough Riders, and from the first cannonading by the gen- 
eral's Hotchkiss guns until the rising of the pink moon, time hung 
in space for Warren. He ran on the heels of the demoniac Crane, 
and two and a half days later was able to write an account of what 
he had seen, but he needed the rising of the moon to recall him to 
earth. To help him recall such times when he had not watched 
men die under a bright sky in a struggle for a moldering distillery; 
when the capsheaf of a man's hopes was more than a desire for a 
can of warm tomatoes or a chew of tobacco; when a caroling trill 
on a hillsif^:^ neant a song sparrow and not a German-made bullet; 
and when a Negro was a fellow in spats who carried a brass watch 
along Lombard Street on Saturday night, and not a human being 
who tried to hold in his guts with his hands. . . . The memory of 
the ^colored trooper never left Warren. Never before in his life 
had he touched a black man except to give one a tip or a worn-out 
suit, yet one had bled to death on him, which was— wasn't it?— 
about as intimate as a man could get. The trooper of the Tenth 
had stunk as badly, choked on water from Warren's canteen, and 
collapsed as limply as the white boys of the First. 

Nor did Warren forget the gray lips of Edward Marshall as he 
lay at Siboney after the fight. Ed had been shot through the spine 



i6o THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

and though in torture when not unconscious, he had written a 
story of the "ambush"— as even Richard Harding Davis called it 
then—for his paper. Now why had he? Was it real excellence, 
"sense of excellence," simple working habit, or a combination of 
all, which gave Ed his cold courage? Warren could not conceive of 
himself being equal to Marshall under similar circumstances. 

He had worked with Crane all of Friday night helping wounded 
men down the mountain, and plugged at it through Saturday and 
Sunday until his limbs lost the buzz of simple fatigue and became 
nerveless as wood. Oh, he and Steve hadn't done it all— there 
were soldiers winged in the arm who managed to bear up those 
who limped, and a handful of hard-worked men with crosses on 
their uniform sleeves had handled the litter cases, without litters. 
Without litters, because when General Wheeler had seized what 
strategists call The Initiative there were no hospital supplies ashore 
except for the field packs of the medical stewards and the first-aid 
kits of the troops themselves. Two days after the fight Miss Bar- 
ton's Red Cross ship anchored, but her offer of assistance was re- 
jected by a doctor who hooted at the presumption of women doing 
a man's job, nursing. ... 

Just before the moon came up Sunday night Crane had said, as 
if he were reading the words from a scroll in their campfire: 

"War is death, and the plague of the lack of a thousand small 
things. And toil, much toil." 

Without looking, he had pointed toward the dirty shack off 
the beach which had been the depot for most of their labor. 

Warren nodded, and his head felt counterweighted, like the 
ones on the toy ducks and giraffes he had given his small nieces 
for Christmas. 

"Yes. Work, sore feet, heartburn, no sleep, and no mail." 

But there was mail on the rotting porch of the house at which 
Crane had pointed. Over the door a sign said, "U. S. Post Office, 
Military Sta. No, i," and the veranda was full of blue-striped 
gray sacks; indeed, there was a fat and cheery postmaster named 
Brewer asleep inside and incubating the yellow fever which would 
claim him among the first victims. His post office was an eldritch 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 161 

place that night, for shapes came and went, elongated by sputter- 
ing torches they carried, and groans escaped from the faintly glow- 
ing windows downstairs. There also were mutterings, thumps, and 
screams, because U. S. Post Office, Military Sta. No. 1, was a make- 
shift surgery. 

On the mailbags men lay in attitudes of birth and death, sleep- 
ing. Those also wounded who could not sleep or lie down sat on 
the filthy floors or in the few chairs. In one room surgeons sawed 
and stitched by the light of a big glass jar a Cuban had half filled 
with cucu/os, the local fireflies, and at intervals got more illumina- 
tion from torches held by orderlies who brought in men for the 
spattered tables. When a man on a table shrieked, the sleepless 
ones outside moved their own racked bodies to ease his agony. 
There were many quiet moments in U. S. Post Office, Military Sta. 
No. 1, however, during which men who were weeping could be 
heard, and some were ashamed. 

None of the suffering bothered Warren after he slid down the 
black chute, but while he slept, a soldier lying on one of the mail- 
bags hemorrhaged. The warm gush soaked through the coarse 
canvas slowly, staining letters addressed to Pvt. Asa W. McDonald 
from Bearing Cross, Arkansas, and to Pvt. William Murphy from 
a judge in Indian Territory, and to a woman, Mrs. J. Addison 
Porter of the Red Cross ship. State of Texas. The blood cooled 
on a fourth envelope, too, and made its superscription illegible. 
The letter inside read: 

Sunday 
My dear Warren: 

WeJ], what I have to tell may sound silly down there in the 
middle oi a war, but my goodness, Fm fit to huist, Fm so madl 
You see, this afternoon I went with Hattie BomheigeT and out 
crowd to Willow Grove. We'd planned a dandy outing and even 
managed to arrange ior space on a cool summer trolley car that 
had been mostly chartered ior a picnic by a Young Businessmen's 
Bible Class. Oi course we didn't plan the young businessmen, but 
we ielt Bible students made everything hunky-dory. Well, it wasntl 

So, things started fine; we rode out to the Park singing "Ta-Ra- 



i62 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

Ra-Boom-De-Af' and real crazy stuff like ''New, My Dog, Has 
Fleas/' you know, and when we got there the young men invited 
us to play dodge hall, and it was quite spiiited, that game, because 
Bertha Tinker got a black eye. (Remember her?— the tall girl with 
the heavy limbs. Not Ella Tinker— she's her sister. You know, the 
one with all the red hair.) 

Now I must interrupt myseli and tell you about the new bath- 
ing dress I made, so you can understand how vexing matters be- 
came. I sent for a pattern from the Bazaar for a sweet blue dress 
trimmed with red braid, and with puffed sleeves and ruiHes— really 
very trig, but the pattern called for duck cloth and because oi this 
old war I couldn't get any, so I bought a iew yards of guaranteed 
pre-shrunJc woolen goods. Well, TU bet you're guessing some of 
what happened, but not all, my goodness! 

We splashed one another in the pool, came out and played 
prisoner s base, to dry off before eating the lunches we'd brought. 
I got so excited and everything that I didn't notice any shrinkage 
—J realty didn't!'— but somebody who ought to have been paying 
more attention to prisoner's base noticed. He called a policeman, 
and do you know what? I got ARRESTED!!! Me! 

The contemptible cad! Why, he hadn't even the manliness to 
tell me, or have a girl friend tell me, that my knees were begin- 
ning to show! Oh, Warren, it was awful— people looking on, and 
everything! The policeman was kind, but he made me wade out 
into the pool up to my waist until Hattie fetched a mackintosh, 
and he severely called dawn a nasty masher who passed an uncalled- 
for remark on our way to the dressing room. I burned all over, I was 
so morti£ed, and— the shame of it!— a reporter got my name from 
Bertha for the papers! I could snatch her bald, I really could! 

Well, Hattie told me the Chicago Marine Band played the 
''Anvil Chorus" with a clever electric anvil afterward, but I didn't 
hear it. I was thinking. The policeman told me after Fd dressed 
who had tattled. I was amazed, for naturally I had expected it was 
the officer's idea, he being an officer. The more I wooled over the 
business, the madder I got. Since when did some wretch in the 
paint-and-varnish business presume to judge my modesty! I sat 
under the trees and the band played and it was cool and shady, but 
in plain language, I perspired. So at intermission, when we girls 
went for apples on sticks, I went for that Bible class president and 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 163 

asked why he had blabbed. **It was my duty," he said, "Duty your 
long nose/' I said; ''How dared you?" ''Because J reverence woman- 
hood" he said, ''and I was embarrassed ioi you." "Fox me?'' I said, 
"Foi me!" 

Fm ashamed of myseli tonight ioi kicking that nasty man, but 
I know you'll be laughing by now, which is what I guess I should 
have done. I hauled back and kicked that whited sepulcher right 
in the seat oi his ice-cream pants. It wasn't ladylike, but I did what 
I could. 

Something dawned on me while I thought about getting named 
as a lewd female. Mel A brazen woman flaunts herself, but— then, 
bing! I knew for sure what was disgusting about me was entirely 
in the mind of that man. His bad breath was blowing back into his 
own face, to be plain about it. I told him so. Hattie says she never 
heard such a speech in her life, but I don't remember much. She 
also says I stuck my candied apple in his hair, which curdles met 

Tonight I feel drained. I won't write much more, so FU pick 
up again tomorrow and make this a real big, fat letter like you 
want. Since I got home Fve recalled some of the arguments we 
used to have about what's decent in books and behavior and so 
forth. You were right— never say that a woman can't admit she was 
wrong. Not that you ever were fair, or exactly right. Gus is sitting 
here grinning as I write. You know Gus! 

Good night, my darling. Remember you asked for personalities! 

Tuesday 
I thought Fd write yesterday, something amusing after that 
affair Sunday, but a dreadful thing happened at the Arsenal and 
left me a wreck. Hattie Bomberger lost the fingers of her right 
hand in an explosion, and today they had to cut off the whole 
hand. Oh God, Warren, it's bad enough when it's a man, hut she's 
a woman and was pretty! A tray of primers blew up while she was 
loading them— the weather has been fierce all summer so far— but 
no one knows how it went off, or why her other hand escaped. 
Maybe she was pushing her hair back, or something, but whyever 
it escaped we can thank the Lord! 

I was in the weighing room when I heard the explosion, and 
my heart froze. I used to tremble over the thought of explosions, 
but when months went by without any, I forgot. Fm calm now as 



i64 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

I write this, hut still cry a little. It was tenihle, and she was my 
hest hiend. I was so shocked when I saw her that I had to pinch 
myself to know I was there, and that this was Hattie Bomherger 
and I knew her very well. Does that sound silly, Warren? I ran 
in and she was sitting at that smoking steel table and staring at 
those ugly red stumps of her Engers. The foreman told me later 
that she didnt feel pain at Erst, or hear him tell her to lie down 
until the stretcher came. Lieutenant Ruggles was passing in the 
hall when the blast went off, and he Exed a tourniquet on her 
arm and shouted for the other women to stop their racket, but 
Hattie didnt seem to feel him twist the knot, or know anybody 
was in the room. She just kept looking at her awful hand. Finally 
she said, *'No. No." Just Jike that, Warren, in a little voice— "No. 
No. This cant be." Then I made a noise too. I cried out because 
I knew it was, and my heart broke. 

Afterward she screamed a long time. She didn't faint, but Mrs. 
McTavish, Nell Archibald, and Mike Koslow, the plumber, did. I 
forgot to. I stood there even when they carried her out, and 
couldn't go to her or say a word. Over and over I heard her say, 
''No. No. This can't be," and saw her holding her hand away from 
her smock— to keep from bleeding on it, I guess, because Hattie 
always was as neat as a pin. 

We went to work after they took her to the hospital; it wasn't 
until I went home and had hysterics that I discovered how scared 
I was, and it wasn't until after a night without sleep that I realized 
what really scared me. I suddenly knew that Hattie might just as 
well have been me, and knew why I was so cold inside, and I cried 
on Ma's nightgown and soaked her shoulder before I was done. 

Today the birds in the yard sang, and the guards said good morn- 
ing, and the whistle blew and the machinery started, just as if noth- 
ing had happened to Hattie, but while I worked I Jcept remember- 
ing. You Jcnow how lightning shows things in the dark, and how 
they stay in your mind, even if the Eash blinded you? Well, that's 
how I suddenly knew that just because Fm me I'm not excused 
from having things happen to me like they do to anybody else. Oh, 
Warren, this must sound stupid to you down there in the middle 
of God-knows-what yourself, but I had to tell you above anybody! 

Ma's calling me to come drink some hot milk and go to bed, 
Gus told me to enclose the clippings about the anthracite miners 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 165 

and the Phillies^ and to say that he agrees with the opinions ex- 
pressed in both— that hee contract shouldn't mean the freedom 
to watch your family starve, and that the Phils need a new manager 
and new umpires. 

I pray for you every night, my dear own. 

Your 
Susan 

In the morning two medical stewards lifted the body of the 
soldier off the mailbag. 

One said, ''This guy sure made a mess of this sack." 

The other said, "He wouldn't of if we could of looked out for 
everybody and gave the poor bastard a chance. Gawd, what a 
night!" 

Some of the mail the soldier had died on had to be burned as 
hopelessly undeliverable. When Susan understood from later cor- 
respondence that her sweetheart had not seen that particular letter, 
she was inclined to let the matter pass. . . . After all, you oughtn't 
to bother a man who has a lot on his mind with your own five- 
cent troubles and discoveries. 



XIX 



Tomas Quemaduras dubbed himself un estudiente del mundo, 
or, as Crane rendered it, ''a graduate of el colegio de Hard Knocks." 
The Cuban never had heard of Balthasar Gracian, but he guided 
himself by principles the old Jesuit maximist might have found 
queerly familiar, because for Tomas a hard world had wrenched 
and distorted, but never crushed, a devotion to useful learning. 
Coarse adaptations came naturally to him, who loved life although 
he always was intimate with poverty, and was tranquilly certain of 
the malice of men. And of women. 

On the latter subject Tomas deemed himself an expert. *'E1 
Boss" particularly remembered a night behind the hill of El Pozo, 
when his servant illuminated the quaint treacheries of womankind, 
and their strength, in a manner which had been shirked by the 



i66 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

priestly philosopher. Warren was grateful for the distraction. With 
Lord-knew-what blood and thunder impending when the Army 
should advance, Tomas's talk soothed his nerves. 

*'This Susana, she is very beautiful, boss." Tomas handed back 
a photograph by one corner. "It not fit my hand makes dirty the 
so beautiful face." 

"She'll do." 

'Tot que.?" 

"I mean, see, she's not an ideal beauty, but— well, she's heimosa, 
but not muy heimosa, heavy on the muy. She's not a — a " 

"BeJleza encantadora," Crane suggested. "A witch beauty." 

Tomas smiled approval with his fearful mouth. "The sefior 
Crane, he very smart! Too beautiful woman mean witch trouble 
plenty, but yes!" 

Warren and Crane smiled, and the latter blew tar through his 
pipes tem. They had encouraged Tomas to talk for their amuse- 
ment, but experience had gentled their condescensions. As Warren 
said, "A man's race, creed, or shiny pants don't necessarily bear 
on his manhood." 

"You speak like one who knows," Crane said. 

''Sif much women, plenty trouble. He very pleasing to the 
women are Tomas, when he young, and have the teeths all and 
the good strong arm and the viriJfdad fuerza." To pantomime how 
fuerza his vinlidad had been, Tomas made a gesture with fist and 
forearm that was impressive. 

" 'He was wild and woolly and full of fleas,' " Crane quoted, and 
the Cuban paused graciously to hear more. When no more came, 
Tomas continued. 

"But now he has fortyseven years and no wife. Long time back 
he got not the years but plenty wifes." 

"All at once?" Warren asked. 

"But no, boss. One by one, ordinariamente, and sometimes with 
the marriage in church. Just once he have two for same time- 
never three. Three wifes, she too much. Two are plenty also." 

"I can believe it." 

"One wife she need the love and the beating with the stick, 



I 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 167 

no? So, two wifes, they are need more than two times the loving, 
and much more than two times the beating, for to make them 
happy and glorify God together. Tomas knows— Madre mia, he 
knows! Women are the funny things, you catch?" 

" 'Love is a funny thing,' " Crane said, forming a church-and- 
steeple with his fingers, " 'Shaped just like a lizard. Runs right 
up your backbone, And nibbles at your gizzard.' " 

''That's es-o! The beautiful woman, she are for the love, not for 
to marry. Bad for the husband of she, his gizzard. But wheii a 
young fellow he full with fire, he say, 'Now I marry myself this 
beautiful witch and then she forget everybodies but me.' Que 
tontol She never, never forget the comb for the hair, the paint for 
the fingers, the many sweethearts who tell her she too good for 
them! Much better for young fellow to marry with the ugly woman 
to put out the fire of him. She's more good for cook and to mend 
the shirt also. With ugly woman, he no worry about lovers, or 
maybe lover surprise him if she got one and he say, 'Well, I be 
damn,' huh?" 

"Maybe," Warren said. "But, Tomas, why can't a pretty ankle 
and good cooking go together? I'm sure they can!" 

''Como usted quiera, si,'' the Cuban said. Tomas, like Father 
Gracian, believed in gilding a contradiction of his superiors where- 
ever possible. 

He studied his prehensile toes for a moment before picking a tuft 
of grass with them to throw on the smudge fire. 

"El Boss, he has hear the tale of la reina egipciana and Jos dos 
generales lomanos? It a good one with sharp points." 

"I don't think so. Who and who?" 

"The Cleopatra— African lady, boss— and the Generals Marcos 
Antonio and " 

"Oh. O-ohl Why, yes, but I may have missed the sharp points. 
Shoot!" 

"Pues, this thing she happen long ago by a great river, before 
come our Saviour and His gracious Mother. Marcos Antonio, he 
much of a man, and the Cleopatra, she beautiful— belleza encanta- 
dora, Senor Crane, you catch? Such things between man and 



i68 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

woman, they are not change by Ja salvacion catolica, ay de mi. . . . 
So: Antonio he bring soldiers to Africa to take this country by the 
great river that belong to the Cleopatra, like el general Shafter he 
taking Cuba—-" 

The two Americans glanced at each other, but Tomas either in- 
tended no subtlety or concealed it well under his bland basso. 

"—and the queen, her soldiers they no damn good for to fight. 
But she a woman and she say, 'No fierce soldiers I have, but these 
my dark eyes are good for many captains, and this my bosom he 
more good than thousand machetes, I think/ So, you know what, 
boss? She fight the victory over los romanos by making for Marcos 
Antonio the battlefield in the bed!" 

Crane clapped his hands. ''Homeric, Tomas! I wish all history 
were chronicled like that!" 

"Gracias, senor, but the end, he is sad. Antonio, he have the 
Julio Cesar for boss—you hear something about this Cesar, I think? 
Julio's wait for news of the grand victory, and he wait and wait, 
but it not come. So Julio say, 'Marcos, he no good for general, 
or he are dead also. I go see.' So he go. The Cleopatra, she very 
surprise and angry with herself when she see Julio come with the 
ships and soldiers. 'What? What?' she say. 'I think this es-o pretty 
Marcos are the big boss, but no, he are this little Julio, damn!' 
You catch, boss? She's disgust, because if the trade of puta pays 
nothing, even queens should stay respetable." 

"Keno!" Crane said. 

"Tomas, he not the cinico, senor," the Cuban said, somewhat 
haughtily. "He telling the fact. . . . Pues, now come the tragedy. 
The Cleopatra show her charms for the Cesar— the handmaidens 
of her carry her naked and roll in a carpet to the tent of him, para 
mucha sensuaJidad, you catch? She's hear this Cesar are higidch— 
like New York fellow say, 'cold patata.' When Marcos hear of this 
thing, he raise the hell, ay/ 'Cleopatra, sangre de mi vida,' he yell, 
'what this you do with the big boss, periida?' She say, 'Who you 
think you yell at? You full with dope, senor/' He say, 'Come! 
Come vdth me— we chase ourselves into the woods for the love, 
and for the safety also.* She say, 'No, you crazy.' He say, 'Yes, by 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 169 

damn!' She say no, he say yes, she say no— then he's es-slap her 
dizzy and run. But this Juho, he are hard fellow with heart like 
policeman. He follow and kill the soldiers of them, and Antonio 
he kill very dead also. Ay de miy there was the end to a fool who 
trust the beautiful witch!" 

"Did she get away with it?" Warren said. 

Tomas paused to listen to a sound beyond the firelight, although 
Warren heard nothing but the chiming snores of Jorge and the 
donkey. The Cuban always heard things first; if a spider stamped 
across a web, Tomas heard it first. 

"When Julio come to her tent after he stick the head of An- 
tonio on machete, the Cleopatra she know the jig he's up. So 
she puts snake, mas mala que una vipera, on the bosom of her for 
the last lover she take, and the tale he's finish." 

"Aw-hee, aw-hee!" came from the darkness. 

"I think Casey's giving you the laugh," Warren said. 

Tomas snapped a thumbnail from an upper tooth, his token of 
derision. "Quesi, she are a woman, no?" he grinned. "All woman 
she sometime laugh he-ha when she's damn mad. . . . Horse sol- 
dier was coming, boss. Is here now." 

The trooper threw his reins to Tomas and squatted by the 
smudge fire. He was a Second Cavalry orderly from corps head- 
quarters, but his business of the moment was no more official than 
to beg a smoke. When mooching failed he offered to swap a can 
of "rat meat" for the makings and a trade was made; although the 
correspondents brought in tobacco on press boats from Jamaica^ 
maintaining food supply from day to day was a knotty problem. 
The Army's commissary rejected the claim of the pen for suste- 
nance when there was not enough for the sword. 

From the orderly Crane and Warren heard details which he 
thought would affect the Army's advance. . . . Papa Churn Butt 
had tooken with the gout so dum bad he could scassly sit his horse, 
but nevertheless Shafter had been in the saddle most of the day, 
and had ridden close enough to the dagos' lines to micturate on 
them—the trooper used a sparer word. Old Snow White Hawkins 
had raised holy-particular with his division chief when he was 



lyo THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

ordered to tear up a dry camp to shove on for a measly mile, and 
by winning his point with Kent had won a good nighf s sleep for 
his brigade, a blessing few others were sharing right now. Fighting 
Joe Wheeler was in the hands of the pill rollers from bunking on 
the ground with men young enough to be his grandbabies, and 
General Young also was feeling mighty low and due to be tagged 
back to the States. Colonel Wood was taking Young's place to- 
morrow, even though he too was throwing up, and Teddy would 
have the Rough Riders for himself, with nobody to handicap him 
but the Army and Navy. 

''Nobody feels snappy," finished the soldier, "and I be dog if 
I feel so good myself." 

Yes, the humors of Cuba were beginning to affect everyone, 
the reporters agreed, but the soldier protested quickly that there 
wa'n't nothing the matter with him except being all-fired tired. He 
hadn't no fever! After what them missionaries had told the boys 
in Tampa about malaria, yaller jack, calentura, or whatever the 
damn things was, he had decided to get good and shot through 
the head, where it wouldn't matter so much, sooner than catch this 
here vomito negro/ . . . 

Warren nodded. He and Crane had discussed and condemned 
the scary-Marys of Tampa; their well-meant warnings had spread 
an unreasoned panic, a fear of disease in which all the microbic 
terrors of the tropics fused into one specter: yellow jack. Wear a 
charm about your neck and pray, bub, for all the good medicine 
will do. . . . Nor had the Medical Department been able to lay 
the horror; having been allotted a handsome twenty thousand of 
the fifty million dollars voted by Congress, and being warned not 
to spend a dime before shooting actually started, the army medics 
were as helpless as they were ignorant. 

The Adjutant General's Office, however, had investigated and 
passed the word for sensible campaigning in hot countries. ''It is 
wise to let the banana alone," the A.G.O. said. "Meals should 
be taken at regular hours and served warm. ... Do the hardest 
work of the day between six and eleven in the morning, then eat 
breakfast, take a siesta, and remain quiet until 3 p.m. . . ." Equally 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 171 

practical advice fortyfive years later would tell draftees that, if 
bitten by a snake, they should extract the venom with a breast 
pump. . . . 

Even their ribald jokes over such stately bilge had palled on the 
doughboys in Cuba. Their ^'regular" meals were beans, bacon, and 
hardtack, with an occasional can of tomatoes and a chunk of pork 
so high that many used it to grease their rifles. Few could stomach 
the canned fresh beef. 'It looked well, but had an odor similar to 
that of a dead human body after being injected with preservatives," 
a doctor testified. And the delicate suggestion by the A.G.O. to 
"avoid getting wet" seemed less than hilarious to the troops now, 
under the teeming daily rains. 

Nor could one chaplain find it in his heart to rebuke his flock 
when, in the name of the All-Merciful, he was asked to lay off the 
sky-piloting and go fetch in something for them to smoke, if he 
really wanted to do something for the peace of a soldier's soul. 
Tobacco, like most agreeable sins, was un-American in the books 
of the quartermaster general— "Let 'em eat sourbelly for comfort; 
there's a war on." 

Civilian pack trains struggled to bring up supplies for the corps 
and its Cuban allies, but fell behind. Eventually one skinner outfit, 
lately from Alaska and chosen for Cuba with a lordly contempt for 
bagatelles like acclimatization, was set solely to hauling cartridges. 
Fresh food spoiled on the transports and was jettisoned; what did 
not feast the fish was carried back to the mainland untouched. 

For such reasons, known or suspected, fifteen thousand Ameri- 
cans in Cuba cursed everything connected with the Army that was 
a foot high and a day old, and so rested before battle. On the 
afternoon of June thirtieth, however, the corps lumbered into 
motion. Companies, regiments, and brigades trampled— simulta- 
neously, of course— into the mud of the skinny trail to Santiago, 
which His Catholic Majesty's cartographers labeled a camino real. 
The invaders thought differently: the liquid mud was bloody flux, 
for sure, but what had been added? They halted near a sugar-loaf 
hill appropriately crowned by a sugar factory, but again with 
Spanish humor called El Pozo, "The Well." Lawton's infantry 



172 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

branched northward to camp along the road to Caney, where the 
only fighting for the next day was scheduled; his mission was to 
cut Santiago's direct connection with Guantanamo and to prevent 
Spaniards from nipping in between Siboney and the American 
advance. Another force, untested Michigan and Massachusetts vol- 
unteers, was to press forward on the south and make terrifying 
noises before the hamlet of Aguadores. 

''Who are you going to follow, Steve?" Warren asked, rolling 
himself into his poncho after the orderly had gone. 

'Tm for the center this time, I think." 

"Huh? The fighting's going to be at Caney!" 

Crane stared at the stars. ''They look pasted on the sky," he 
said. "... What did you say?" 

"The center's just going to hole up in the woods ahead until 
Lawton has gathered in that little nest at Caney, so if Lawton's 
giving the party, why stay here? After all, it's only four or five 
miles back in case hell pops here." 

"Well, let's just say I have a hunch, Stretch." 

"How's that?" 

"No one really knows what's in front— lay of the land, enemy 
force, or anything. And here in the center are the irrepressibles 
who think of battle in terms of touchdowns, sliding for bases, 
prize fights, or— in a deadlier sense— the pursuit of cattle rustlers." 

"Now that's news— you've said you don't give a snap for the 
Rough Riders, but now you've switched!" 

Crane laughed. "I have a bump of curiosity," he said, holding up 
fingers to tick off reasons. "I want to see what happens when Teddy 
and Company are required to sit still and wait for orders. Second, I 
have some gestures to make for the World about New York's own 
dear Seven tyfirst, those hopeless litterers of the old campgrounds. 
Third, I want to watch Colonel Derby's French-silk balloon go 
up— I was bom too late for Professor Lowe's ascensions during the 
late Unpleasantness Between the States. Fourth, I'm morbidly fas- 
cinated by ambush. Lawton won't be surprised— he's too smart, 
and besides he's bulging with eight or ten men to the enemy's 
one, if the Cuban spies are right. Last, I fear I could not keep 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 173 

a straight face nor my temper, to watch Duffield at Aguadores. 
He's feinting, but feints can be vomitive and infuriating when 
green men slop forward to die. No, make mine the middle/' 

Warren pondered. Jack Fox, too, said that he would hang 
around general headquarters until something big broke— Shafter 
was planting his flag behind El Pozo, where he could maintain 
touch with all three wings of his army by telephone and messen- 
gers. Davis was staying put, but Bonsai was going with Lawton, he 
said, not because he ached to, but because he felt obligated to 
treat a certain staff officer's hints seriously. Warren's own official 
tipster suddenly had found critical business in Siboney when orders 
had come to move in the opposite, or shooting, direction, so 
Warren had not the advantage of his prudent advice. 

''We-e-ell," he said, listening to shovels digging in the trail 
spades of the artillery on the hill, "I guess I'll try Lawton myself. 
Mind if I take Casey and Jorge, just on the chance I've got to 
hustle back here?" 

''Do, by all means. Stretch. Good night and good hunting." 

. . . Why tag along with Crane forever, anyhow? A fight was 
guaranteed at Caney, even if it were only to be a warm-up for the 
main event. Sometimes gazabos like Crane, Davis, and Fox were 
just a touch too supercilious for his taste, Warren thought. You'd 
half think they'd been behind the curtain, not simply with Shafter, 
but with the Almighty— in spite of the fact that not a single dod- 
gasted reporter had the confidence of the man at headquarters— nor 
confidence in him, either. Almost alone of the newspapermen. 
Bonsai seemed to sympathize with the gout-swollen, yellow-eyed 
tub of guts in the solar topee who was responsible to the War De- 
partment and the people of the United States, and not to the 
World, the Journal, or the Associated Press. Like Uncle Billy 
Sherman of a generation gone. Uncle Billy Shafter did not like 
newspapermen. 

Warren shared the prejudice against the general, but Bonsai 
had related a story about him that afternoon which modified his 
opinion. 

''He lay on his cot by the telephones watching his shirt dry, 



174 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

and with a gunny sack on one foot instead of a shoe. Orderhes ran 
in and out, and generals came storming with generals' complaints 
about one another. I couldn't see the picture of rear-area ease some 
of the boys sneer about, not in that squalid tent, nor in the malaria 
that burned in the fat man's eyes. He'd just had word that his 
second-in-command was out of action and that enemy reinforce- 
ments were on the way to Santiago. Garcia was begging for more 
provisions for his well-starved army, while the Swedish attaches 
had demanded to know when they were going to get ice. 

''The only ice on hand was in the tones of a couple of corre- 
spondents pitching their opinions on mismanagement to carry to 
the general's ears. Oh, sure, it worked! It got his goat and he had 
them thrown out, but do you know what he told my favorite 
colonel afterward? Well, when his rage passed, Shafter turned to 
him and said, 'They wish to instruct me in my military duties. 
Colonel, but I cannot bank on their intuitions. Theirs is the 
privilege of criticism, mine is the responsibility of command. If 
only they knew how hard it is to give the go-ahead when you know 
human life is to be sacrificed!' 

"Then, so help me Hannah, the general fished a wad of press 
clippings from his field desk, dating back to Tampa, and appar- 
ently selected for their abuse of himself. 1 keep these nosegays 
from my admirers,' he said, 'to remind me of the duty of humility. 
Colonel.' And he laughed, by God!" 

Sleepily Warren recalled the story. Funny— you usually did not 
think of a commanding general as suffering, and as seldom thought 
of one laughing at himself. As his sleep fog thickened, Warren 
smiled at the thought which came to him and which coupled 
William Rufus Shafter and Tomas Something Something Quema- 
duras as brothers under the skin. Their bond in common was that 
neither looked his part, one as a leader of men and the other as a 
tragedian. A general should be debonair in his gauntlets, a 
tragedian should brood in his cloak— anything else was an affront 
to all lovers of the tin-plated obvious. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 175 



XX 



(Field notes of Warren Spangler at Caney, Oriente Province, 
Cuba, July 1, 1898, with certain vignettes he did not report, for 
one reason or another.) 

It is six-thiity. The moining is misty in the bottoms, chilly 
everywhere. It's hard to imagine that within a iew hours men will 
he gasping {or breath even ii unhit. Out men and the Cubans have 
taken positions east and south oi the village, and I am with the 
artillery above the forks oi the Guamas Creek on a high promon- 
tory. The gunners stand by their pieces, the heutenants are tink- 
ering with brass cUnometers. There is silence, ior everyone waits. 
An unseen bird in the valley is cranky about something — one just 
flew by, a red-bodied, blue-winged iellow. Wish I had time to study 
these Cuban birds. 

The mist is lifting. Caneys barrios have red roofs and ocher 
walls. Not a soul in sight in the town, nor in the works about it, 
but thin curls of wood smoke are dissolving into the sky over its 
hill. 

There goes our first shell. It is 6:35 a.m. 

A stout, middle-aged captain in shirt sleeves watched the puff 
of the shell through field glasses. He had trouble fixing the place 
of the distant explosion because of the billowing gun smoke; he 
also was handicapped by his suspenders, which he supported with 
one hand while he wormed the binoculars with the other. 

''Damn miserable black powder!" the captain muttered. 

Major Dillenback and he had hoped smokeless stuff would arrive 
from England in time, but ... 

''Lieutenant, raise the range. Try twentythree hundred. Con- 
tinue with percussion shell." 

Soon a shot hit the wooden blockhouse near the Santiago road, 
and Captain Capron saw white-jacketed Spaniards fly out of it 
like wasps from a stick-struck nest. . . . Good shooting, consider- 
ing. 'Tor purposes of economy, the artillery will use the store of 



176 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

black powder now on hand." Regular units will fire their guns 
four times a year to expel chimneyswifts and other foreign matter. 
Thank you, gentlemen of the Congress, you cheap bastards. . . . 

"Lieutenant, have Number Two load shrapnel. Cut your fuses to 
spray the trenches before that nearer blockhouse. . . . They're 
not ready on Two? Not ready? Well, get them ready!'' 

General Lawton and a newspaper reporter came up and stood 
with the captain to watch the bombardment; Capron's guns 
drubbed the forts and the trenches until everyone on the hill went 
mercifully deaf. Conversation became a painful exercise in lip 
reading, gestures, and intuition. To the farrago of the guns there 
was no reply whatsoever from the forts. 

The general rode off after a time, but the reporter stayed. 

''What's the range. Captain?" he shouted. 

Capron told him by two fingers and a halving sign with a third, 
wishing the young man would go away. Reporters bothered Captain 
Capron. Vultures— this fellow kept gaping at the thickening pillar 
of dust rising from the town, and glancing from time to time back 
at him. . . . The gray-haired captain stiffened— not another question 
about his son Allyn, lying in his grave at Las Guasimas. . . . 

"Captain Capron, w-would you mind a personal question?" 

The captain ignored him, gazing steadily across the valley of 
guinea grass toward the town; down left was a wrecked coconut 
grove and a field of pineapples long out of cultivation. Under the 
brightening sun, too, the flag on the main stone fort showed clearly 
now. 

"What I was going to ask wasn't for my paper, Captain, b-but 
for me. . . . What about the w-women and children in the town, 
Captain?" 

Capron was as unprepared for the odd diffidence as any man who 
leans against a push which does not come. 

"What about them?" 

"Well, sir, not even the s-soldiers are shooting back." The 
reporter seemed to be having trouble getting his words out, and 
his face was red. 

"Just what are you driving at, young man?" 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 177 

''Oh, nothing/' the reporter said. "Forget it. It wasn't miHtary, 
and didn't make sense, I g-guess." 

Hammering an enemy with Eeld guns prepares the way ioi your 
infantiy, but I wish I could sponge a picture horn my mind of 
babies being mutilated over in that pink-and-yellow town. I can 
see them screaming with pain and wonder, while their mothers 
rock them and cower. Or perhaps Mother is dead and a big^ grown- 
up sister oi twelve has them on her terrified hands. But the mis- 
fortune oi the children is our good luck: Capron says that ii the 
Spaniards had even one decent modern gun in Caney we'd all be 
blown to hell ofi this hill. 

Heavy firing now from the left, where Ludlow's brigade is mov- 
ing in. I cannot see them yet, and at the distance the musketry 
sounds less ferocious than the sputtering of the mangoes we fried 
last nighty but can hardly be more lethal. . . . 

It is a curious feeling, having a box seat for battle. The aspect 
of the correspondents and attaches on the hill is polite and picnic- 
like; most are beslung with kodaks and spyglasses like rubber- 
neckers in Fairmount Park, and carry bags or hampers which look 
like lunch boxes. Major General Breckinridge is speaking earnestly 
to a Cuban colonel who is scratching his armpits and drawing pat- 
terns in the dust with his boot toe. A couple of redlegs stagger up 
from behind the hill with shells and bags of powder; they are taut- 
Joob'ng, as men are who work with mules and heavy weights. The 
breech of one of the guns has stuck, and the gunners are cursing it 
into working order. Count von Goetzen, the Kaiser's visiting fire- 
man, looks soiled, but his monocle surveys Captain Capron's 
drooping suspenders with frosty disdain. I guess we don't present 
a classic tableau like the little mound at Ratisbon to a Prussian 
professional, but personally I feel guilty being here at all, ready to 
view the deaths of men as a spectacle. 

Lawton is back hot and dusty, but his gallant mustachios lend 
him an air of tirelessness. He is breaching military etiquette, I 
suppose, by directly specifying Ering missions to the gurmers over 
Capron's head; those four sizzling tubes will bend in their middles 
like boiled macaroni by noon. It must be difRcult for a general 
officer to keep still once battle is joined and gets out of his hands 
more or less. ... 



lyS THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

A regiment oi Chaffee's brigade began its assault across a cieek 
on the righty the general says, and was allowed to get within eight 
hundred yards oi the Spanish lines unopposed. Then when it sifted 
through a hedge bordering a sunken road, a line oi Spaniards 
popped up like cardboard soldiers and shot the regiment to tatters. 
They've withdrawn into the road with their dead and wounded— 
perhaps this carefree roundup oi a iew blockhouses won't be so 
easy after all. . . . 

I saw Chaffee this morning gesticulating fiercely in council with 
Lawton, and was impressed by his frontiersman look oi lean com- 
petence; he wears no insignia, but his habitual cigar does the trick 
oi identiiying him as a man of consequence in an army que tienen 
nada que fumar. 

Adna Romanza Chaffee sat his horse, leaning on the pommel 
with both forearms to watch his Seventh Infantry take over the 
assault from the chewed Seventeenth. He straightened, looked at 
the sun, and sneezed; he took the dead cigar out of his mouth, 
wiped his mustaches, and replaced it. . . . Getting on to noon, it 
was, and up yonder were the soft-touch forts and down here still 
was his brigade. Only one skimpy battalion holding Caney, the 
Cubans said, hey? There were at least fifteen hundred hombres 
up there behind that barbed wire, and with a splendid field of fire, 
too! At the rate this fight's going . . . 

A memory skipped through the general's mind: he heard a young 
captain of cavalry calling cheerfully to his troop as they rammed 
a charge home to Kiowa hos tiles long ago. . . . 

"Let's go. Seventh," growled the same captain grown older. "If 
any man is killed, I'll make him a corporal!" 

It did not sound the same as once it had along the Sweetwater 
in '74, and Chaffee was glad none of his panting footsloggers had 
heard. 

A couple of platoons of Cubans were going in with the Seventh, 
and the general frowned. They looked longer on fleas than on guts, 
but what could you expect when a mambis standard battle equip- 
ment was a rusty Winchester, a machete, and an empty stomach, 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 179 

and he campaigned on rations of snakes, mangoes, and insects? 
But now— but now we'll see— we'll see. Some of the Plains Indians 
had been frowzier than Billy-be-damned and still ran the gaiters 
off the best cavalry in the Old Army: wrinkled old Satank, and the 
Cheyenne "dog soldiers/' and Quahnah Parker, who looked like 
a poet. Damn seldom a big moose like Roman Nose in the whole 
starving lot. But scrawny and savage though they were, they'd been 
men, Eghting men, by God! Certainly they'd been fiendish, too, 
but Chaffee remembered Sand Creek and a Colonel Chivington— 
there was a fine, infamous American name! — and the target practice 
American soldiers had had at seventyfive yards on a naked Indian 
child who might have grown to become a painted brave in fifteen 
years or so. . . . 

The general saw two queer characters hurrying along the edge 
of the creek below him, tugging at a jackass who wanted to crop 
grass and to hell with the singing noises overhead that the men 
were ducking. The white man was gotten up like a newspaper cor- 
respondent, and the other creature was either a Cuban or a gorilla, 
Chaffee wasn't sure which. It was unusual to see a newspaper re- 
porter so close under fire, when so many sent home their "eye- 
witness details" after interviewing skulkers and the wounded. 

"Clear out of there!" the general shouted. "What do you think 
this is, the promenade at Bar Harbor?" 

The tall white man stared at the officer on horseback and ges- 
tured toward him to his companion. They veered uphill, the Cuban 
crooning into the she-donk's ear. Just short of Chaffee the mamhi 
uttered a squeal, fell, and rolled on his back. 

"Jorge!" the white man said, dropping to his knees beside the 
fallen man. The donkey nosed at the body and questioned it with 
little noises. ... 

When the reporter passed the general he had no thought for 
him. He had slung the Cuban across the animal's back, and a worm 
of blood ran gaily down the white hide, but Chaffee could not 
say from what exact part of the jungle growth of hair on the man 
the blood came. The young fellow who led the donkey was saying: 



i8o THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

"It wasn't your fault, Casey, it wasn't. . . . Don't feel so 
bad. . . ." 

Chaffee took off his slouch hat and wiped his face with it. . . . 
Anything, just anything, could happen in a fight, including a man 
crying and apologizing to a donkey. Sometimes the general wished 
he'd stayed home and learned to raise chickens for a career— you 
never could tell what you were likely to run across on a battlefield, 
but with chickens you usually knew where you stood. 

After I buried JoTge I had tiouhle with Casey ior a whilej but 
once she understood— and it took talking—she followed me with- 
out halter. I ieel responsible for Jorge's death. He went anywhere 
Casey went, and I knew that— I couldn't take her and make him 
stay behind. . . . Burying him was awful. I just had a stick to 
scratch his grave. I saw death in worse forms on police calls, but 
it's different when you have to bury the dead. Jorge was still warm, 
even. I took a picture of the grave for Tomas, because it was all I 
could think to do. . . , 

ChaSee was gone when I finished. Now I've wandered into a 
group of Negro soldiers drinking coffee in a swale behind the 
center of our attacking line. They belong to the Twentyfffth, 
and when one asked me where Fd won the donk the whole gang 
burst into laughter. You'd never think that only three hundred 
yards off behind stone walls and parapets other men are waiting 
to kill these resting coffee drinkers. The ffght seems to have 
knocked off for lunch; there is practically no shooting. Lawton 
is far behind his timetable; obviously the Caney people were 
reinforced last night, and he will not be able to rejoin the center 
before Santiago as scheduled. Meanwhile, here a chaplain named 
Springer is boiling mocha for his men and for the honor of God 
before their battle resumes. He's a man! . . . 

A major tells me that the center has been having a hot Eghtl 
So Steve was right in his hunch (N.B.swap stories with him). 
They couldn't stand still! The outcome seems to be in doubt; Law- 
ton was ordered back to support their attack but could not dis- 
engage himself from this mess. And everything looked so hunky- 
dory on paper! Shall we hear next that DufReld has been thrust 
into the sea at Aguadores? 

I may as well stay and follow this Eght to its conclusion. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 181 

The lugaiteniente glowered about the stone room when his 
vision cleared for a moment. Ciistol Only three men still firing 
through the loopholes, and one of them propped against fallen 
masonry as though he were very tired or dying. The blood of the 
rest of the platoon kalsomined the walls, a rich coat daubed on 
by yanqui shrapnel and Krag slugs. 

The lieutenant felt for his watch, saw it was three o'clock, and 
repocketed it feebly, showing neither surprise nor anxiety. The 
BataJIdn Constitucion of which his men were a part, plus a few 
loyal irregulars, had been under attack for almost nine hours; 
mas d menos five hundred men. Only five hundred against the 
whole Yanqui army, to begin with. Now there were— the lieuten- 
ant shrugged— pero menos. Of his platoon there yet were three- 
no, Sandoval now lay on his face in the plaster— there were two. 
The general himself was dead three hours since, shot through the 
skull while lying already wounded on a stretcher. 

The yanquis now were within point-blank range, so that even 
the lieutenant could see them clearly. Some were whites, some 
were "smoked"— brave men, one had to concede; they had come 
on over the bodies of their dead. So many, so many, ay de mi, too 
many to kill! 

The lieutenant broke his sword, threw away the pieces, and 
picked up Sandoval's Mauser. He fired. An officer of the oncoming 
line toppled sideways. . . . Doroteita had a doll which would 
not stand well, and the little one cried with vexation when it 
would not. Little one? She must not be such a ninita after three 
absent years— ah, Saragossa was such a poor land, and yet it was too 
far away! The little son, Miguelito, studies well at the academy 
of El Pilar, his mother wrote, and knows the Latin now. Perhaps— 
perhaps might he become a man of holy orders? Think of the day 
when everyone, including his own rough father, must bow to 
Miguel and say, "Buenas dks, padre"/ ... 

One of the two remaining soldiers trembled as if smitten with 
a fever of the accursed land, and the teniente looked his way. The 
enemy was just outside the blockhouse now, croaking like thirsty 
beasts as they staggered up to the walls. When the trembling 



i82 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

soldier tried to crawl out a hole in the rear wall the lieutenant shot 
him. . . . Madre de DioSj the quality of the replacements sent out 
in the latter days! That animal Perez had desired to live, when bet- 
ter men lay dead around him. Possibly Perez had been gifted with 
more imagination than they among whom he now sprawled; he 
feared the retribution of his own officer less than the americanos, 
and for this he was dead. Pues, now perforce one would discover 
for oneself whether these conquering dogs outside had the pun- 
donor to spare prisoners. The lieutenant had repeated tales of 
their bestialities so often to brace his men against surrender that 
he no longer remembered whether he had believed them in the 
beginning himself or whether he had smiled over them as a de- 
vice to put spine into his own hijos de perras. 

When the first American, a blackbeard with a paunch, came 
through the door stumbling over fallen timbers and plaster, the 
teniente could not bring himself to utter the word ''surrender." 
So he tossed aside his rifle and bowed without rising. 

"A sus ordenes, senor,'' he said, and fainted so languorously that 
it was tantamount to a yawn. . . . 

"He surrendered the joint to you, Creelman!" 

An officer with a drawn pistol said the words to the blackbeard 
while his eyes roved the litter of bodies in the fort. He saw a 
movement— a trifle late he fired, and the last defender to shoot at 
a yanqui fell across his comrades. 

Creelman snatched at the arm which had been shattered by the 
Spaniard's bullet. A young man entering just then with two black 
doughboys caught him as he fell. 

"Man, man, just look at the chitlins!" one of the Negroes said of 
the quiet fort. 

Warren Spangler lowered the wounded Creelman and tore off 
his sleeve. While he stanched the bleeding the other said: 

"Wait till— the chief hears that the— first blockhouse at Caney 
sur— rendered to the New York Journal/ Not a bad war for the 
Journal, hey, but kind of— wearing on guys like Marshall and me, 
hey?" 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 183 

When I got hold oi my stomach again after the sight of that 
slaughteihousCy I helped to carry out Spaniards who were still 
breathing. Their lieutenant was a particularly nasty case, having lost 
both kneecaps by a shell fragment. 

The battle goes on. Fortines and trenches are taken, but the 
enemy has retired into the town itself and are begrudging it house 
by house, these cowardly dagos who most certainly would run 
shrieking when faced by armed men instead of by the weak and 
helpless! The butchery is forced on us, but what a God's waste of 
courage— they won't surrender! The heat of the day and their ef- 
forts are making some of our men blood-crazy, and others vomit 

Why won't these God-damned fools surrender? 

As it had observed noontime for lunch, the fight knocked off at 
dusk almost as if the fighters had heard a quitting whistle. The 
victors' admiration of their prisoners was unstinted; one JBataJIon 
Constitucion survivor said, *'They applauded everything we said, 
on the assumption that he who is brave must also be bright." The 
sun dropped behind the tower of the church in Caney plaza as 
medical orderlies, accompanied by armed soldiers, hunted wounded 
Spaniards from door to door to carry them back to the church, 
which was one of the last "forts" to give in. 

Warren joined a squad of searchers, weary and nauseated but 
driven by the volition which burns the nerves themselves for fuel. 
He plodded past a cluster of the prisoners who had not been able to 
get away with the eighty who broke out to go back to Santiago, 
and a swarthy officer among them plucked at Warren's sleeve. He 
was smoking a cigarette, and Warren was impressed by the rings 
the man wore on his fingers more than by his English. 

''Sir, will you please to procure for us es-shovels? We would 
much like to compose our dead ones." 

Since the haggard americano merely stared dumbly, the officer 
repeated patiently, carefully pronouncing every syllable. He flashed 
his rings at a trench in which a row of bodies lay, empty cartridge 
shells keeping them company. 

''It is not for to dig, but only to cover the grave of them, sir. 



184 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

The brave ones dug their grave for themselves and did fight from it 
today, yes/' 

"Hurry up there, mister!" the sergeant of the patrol called to 
Warren. ''We've got to push. You don't want to be left in this 
town, do you?" 

"No, but what's the hurry?" 

"We gotta join the main body p.d.q." 

"Say, do you mean that after marching half the night and f-fight- 
ing all day, you're g-g " Warren could not finish. 

"Sure, mister. The rest of the Army's on top of San Juan Hill, 
wherever that is, and having a bad time. They always holler for us 
infantry when the going's tough. Why, I remember a time when we 
was chasing Geronimo and " 

"B-but, Sergeant, w-we're all dead on our f-feet!" 

The doughboy laughed harshly. "O.K., O.K. Then we'll take the 
ferry or something, but we're going back!" 

Caney was not hadly wrecked. Most oi Capron's banage must 
have legisteied on the ioits and tienches. But still, the people— 
Chiisty the poor people! 

Naked toddlers, quieter than babies ought to be, with bellies 
puffed out— starvation is an obscene jokei. Women s hair dragging 
in the dust as they wail and rock by their dead ... I saw an old 
crone stumbling along the road to Santiago carrying a tiny husk oi 
a little old man on her shoulders. Her husband, he was, I found; 
she was blind but he could direct her, ior he was only crippled. And 
besides the hungry, the homeless, and the iever-ridden here, there 
are lepers—even a Chinese leper! I saw him. 

No misery can surprise me. On the Boor oi the mayor's house 
was a dead young giil, lying on her back and stripped to the waist. 
Between her breasts stuck a dagger. I grabbed a villager we were 
using as an interpreter, and he cringed when I pointed to the girl. 
"Look," I said, "she wasnt killed by a bullet or a shell! She was 
stabbed!" 

The man looked relieved; I don't know what he thought Fd 
clutched him ior. "Si, senor," he said. "Perhaps her lover did it, no? 
Que importa— there is much death everywhere" 

Then he twisted out oi my hand and ran off. 



J 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 185 

Warren found Casey in the bush where he had hidden her, and 
she picked a slow way back along the road they had traveled that 
morning, with him fast asleep on her back and his fingers rigidly 
gripping her mane. Behind them Caney was dark except for the 
flickering lanterns of the prisoner guard, and the moonlight. 

The moonlight shone through the smashed roof of the church, 
and doctors working in there were passingly grateful. The broadest 
shaft slanted across the altar, which was a trifle heavy to move, but 
which made a quite serviceable operating table. 



XXI 



Theodore Roosevelt once said, '1 never met anyone who en- 
joyed life as much as I do. I always have fun, constant fun.'' The 
morning the fun began at San Juan was no exception; as a nature 
lover, he was enraptured from the start. The skies were rain- 
washed, the foliage of the countryside showed many greens and was 
lush with flowers, and the distant plain of Santiago seemed an 
amphitheater for battle, like the one before Priam's Troy—moun- 
tain peaks ringed it like Olympian spectators awaiting the deeds of 
their pet heroes. . . . And, by thunder, the colonel thought, 
there will be chivalries for the gods to smile iipon soon! Nothing 
less could be forthcoming from his regiment— his very own now 
that Wood had moved up to take Young's place. Gentlemen, I give 
you: the First Volunteer Cavalry, clean-limbed and -minded, the 
essence of all that is fine in American manhood! Two or three 
Democrats in the ranks could not water the broth enough to mat- 
ter. 

Much depended upon the officers, of course, but the colonel 
was confident of them. Not once had he heard a dirty story from 
his juniors, a trait of detestable cads, and their toast at mess al- 
ways had been, ''The officers! May the war last till each is killed, 
wounded, or promoted!" The grammar of that might not be flaw- 
less, but the manly spirit— ah! 

The nuisance was that he had no orders to fling his regiment 



i86 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

forward into shot and glory. They hunkered here behind El Pozo 
waiting for Grimes to open a diversionary cannonade to help the 
cleanup at Caney. Shafter always favored Lawton and the infantry 
when there was distinction to be won, it seemed. As for the yellow 
custard himself, where would he tarry? Far back, of course, reclining 
in his tent like the eunuch general in Sahamho who scratched 
himself with a golden spatula while his legions fought. . . . 

Colonel Roosevelt finished his beans and scraped his mustache 
just as the first gun of Grimes boomed. At his side, acting brigadier 
Leonard Wood wrinkled his forehead uneasily, and near by a corre- 
spondent drinking coffee spilled some. 

''The men are not placed entirely to my satisfaction. Colonel." 
Wood gestured at the concentration on the slopes behind the 
smoke-wreathed battery. ''The enemy must have firing tables for this 
landmark, laid out to microscop " 

Roosevelt's football-kicking companion of their Washington 
days interrupted himself to listen to a rising whine. A second later 
a shell cracked overhead, and there were shrieks in the courtyard of 
the cane mill where the officers v/ere breakfasting. 

"Shrapnel! And they do have the range!" 

Roosevelt looked at a fascinating bruise on his wrist. "I know. A 
ball hit me— no, if s really not a wound." He seemed to regret it. 

"Fm glad," Wood said. "You'd better move your men under 
cover of those trees forward, Theodore. Be ready to take the lead 
for our brigade when I send word." 

"Yes, sir, Leonard." 

Roosevelt trotted briskly and got his command under the trees. 
The shellbursts had killed and wounded several men, including 
cavalry regulars and a larger toll of Cubans. Glancing back at El 
Pozo, the colonel observed Grimes's gunners shooing away a group 
of mounted civilians from their now silent pieces. One of their 
visitors was a big fellow, familiar to Colonel Roosevelt as the 
damned-fool owner of the New York Journal, who had supported 
Bryan in the last election. Young Mr. Hearst, however, was right- 
minded about this war. 

"The target the dons are shooting at isn't Hearst or his horse. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 187 

boys/' the colonel muttered. ''It's the black cumulus of your own 
firing. . . . We would have done better by you in the Navy De- 
partment." 

While waiting in the brush the colonel checked his equipment, 
which in most details, down to his thirtyone-cent leggings, re- 
sembled his men's. In two or three respects he differed: his was a 
blue polka-dot kerchief, his revolver was one which had come off 
the Maine, and tucked in several pockets and into the cord of his 
Stetson were spare spectacles. Breathing on the lenses of the ones 
he wore, the colonel polished them as he tramped away on a tour 
of inspection. 

Trooper Hawkins's glasses steamed over frequently while Troop 
L lay in the jungle, and if he had needed one last irritation to dis- 
illusion him of war's ''magnificently stern array," that tore it. He 
spat a word and shifted to an elbow to wipe his cheaters. The 
morning did not enrapture Caleb; his underwear was soiled from 
persistent diarrhea, his face was bite-blotched and purple with the 
dank heat, and a greasy fried hardtack quivered in his stomach like 
the jellyfish he'd poked with sticks when he'd summered at Cape 
May as a child. 

He fell back supine, clasped his hands under his head, and re- 
solved to forget his surroundings. Step by step he reconstructed 
the luxuries of a Turkish bath. Grimes's battery bellowed, Mauser 
bullets keened and popped overhead, but . . . 

You'd had three too many down at the Rathskeller at Broad and 
Chestnut^ say, and wanted a reviving before the Assembly dance. 
Well, Erst you got your clothes off and sat on a slab in the super- 
heated room to cook out all the pore-deep crud . . . 

In a thicket near by, Horace Bigod and Rattlesnake Fred finished 
a lackadaisical dispute they had begun the night before. 

The Indian said, "It doesn't matter, when you come right down 
to it, whether we're supposed to get soap and candles on our ra- 
tion. We don't, and that's that!" 

"You didn't put it suchaways last night!" Murray said. 



i88 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

"Fm humiliated." 

'*I say, if they're coming to us, we've got them coming to us, by 
God!" 

''Oh, sure. Well, take it up with the Noodle, and if he doesn't 
give you satisfaction, report him to the Great White Father." 

"Come to think of it, Hors," Murray said after a pause, "what 
would we do with all that soap and taller if she does catch up with 
us?" 

. . . and after the hot-water spray, the cold. Wow! What a 
shock! But the aftertingJe was a daisy! ... 

Faro Frank Close had an audience for details of surgical tri- 
umphs of his dental career. Corporal Seiffert weakly tried to stop 
him, but heard Frank on, spellbound. 

"So I couldn't do nothing while the feller was yawping and 
blowing blood all over, even on my fancy diploma. So I slugs him 
—easy, of course— just enough to prepare him for the gas. Then 
I thinks: here's the chance to try my new idea, the Close Method 
of Natural Replantation, what'll make mankind my debtors. This 
guy's swallowed his front teeth on account of the sock in the puss 
he's got, and it looks sure he's going to have to like milk toast for 
a whiles, so what's he got to lose? And that's how come I jerk some 
small choppers out of my landlady's dog and graft them onto his 
raw gums." 

"O-o-oh God," the Noodle said in a faint voice. 

"Naturally, being rushed-like, I couldn't file down the fangs 
proper, so my patient looks pretty fierce when he comes to. But 
I convinced him it wouldn't matter none— might even help him 
win saloon arguments without having to snatch for shooting irons 
hereafter." 

"Did they?" the Noodle asked, and held his breath queasily. 

Faro Frank sighed. "Never was able to tell. The cuss got himself 
ventilated for good, come the next Saturday night, so the Close 
Method never got a square deal. Not fair and square!" 

. . . then All, muscular as a boilermaker but pallid as a baker, 
slapped you and kneaded and rubbed in the oil. . . . 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 189 

''Why, damn your soul, certainly there's ghosts!" Tex Kingsland 
said. ''Hell, don't take my word for it— Fm not asking you to! But 
you believe in the Good Book, don't you, eh? All right then, what 
about the Holy Ghost, eh? Answer me that: what about the Holy 
Ghost?" 

"Bah!" said Benny DuKoff, and went to sleep. 

. . . the dim doimitory when the steaming and pummeUng 
were done, and the sleepers there, Uke corpses in a weJJ-bred 
morgue. Phooey for the Assembly dance/ Ah, those wonderful 
beautiful clean sheets! . . . 

"Yeah," Trooper Woodruff said, eying the course of a lazy little 
snake under a bush, "that Lola had c-1-a-s-s class." 

"I bet," Happy Jack Geoghegan said quickly. "Now lemme tell 
you about one I knew once. This quail, she " 

"You might even say capital-C Class," Smoky Stu said, chew- 
ing a cud of bark. "Yeah— having one prop only would of dis- 
couraged most females, but not Lola. She used to say, 'Hell, sweet- 
heart, the gals in these places always has two legs, and that's 
ornery,' she says. 'Nothing to a two-legged woman. But lookey, 
sugar-finger, how many chances do you get to make ro-mance with 
a one-legged honey like Lola?' Yow! And that toilet water she used 
to souse on— man, that was class!" 

The snake got inquisitive and raised its head. Smoky, who had 
waited for that indiscretion, puckered his mouth and let fly. A 
strap of juice drenched the head for a pinwheel bull's-eye, and the 
snake thrashed madly. 

"Bingo!" said Trooper Woodruff. 

. . . and the sleep between the white sheets that went on, and 
on, and 

"On your feet!" Corporal Seiffert shouted. 

The Rough Riders fell into column for another of the jerky 
starts of the morning— they were delivering milk, or behaving like 
the Paoli Local, Caleb thought. Six hours would pass before they 



190 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

start-stopped a mile and a half through the fetid basin between 
El Pozo and the San Juan ridge; as he squelched through the ruts 
Caleb saw that men had been pulled off to either side of the trail 
to let the cavalry division pass. Kent's infantry, they were, who 
had led off hours earlier. Among them were a number of wounded, 
who seemed dazed over injury which had fallen on them unseen; 
Caleb noticed that they attempted to be cheerful and that the 
crawling column passing them went more quietly— one might say 
more thoughtfully. 

''How can the dons see us when we can't see them?" he asked 
Horace. 

''Don't have to see us," said Horace. "They got noses." 

The column came to a ford in Aguadores Creek, or so Caleb 
read it had been when he bought a book about the war a year 
later. However, after the march there were bets that the stream 
had been the Purgatorio, the San Juan, the Las Guamas, or the 
Rio Seco— to somebody it was just another dago creek beside which 
he'd nailed a sign, "1500 mi. to the Allentown Fair." There was 
general agreement among most, and particularly among men like 
the Noodle's squad, who had to halt hip-deep in the water for a 
time, that the crossing was "Bloody Ford." 

Looming above the trail here and marking it better for Spanish 
aim was the Signal Corps balloon. The poorest artillerists of the 
Imperial Army were positive they could hit a target that size, nor 
did the riflemen on San Juan neglect it. The yanquis having been 
so considerate about supplementing their aiming stakes, the dons 
fired bullet and shrapnel, and though for a while they missed the 
big bag, their lead and iron sleeted into Bloody Ford economically, 
and into the clogged road back of it. 

In the wicker basket floating above the jungle's roof a Signal 
Corps colonel peered at the west. It was hot for him in the basket, 
because of sun and flying shot, but the bag shaded him partially, 
and he was aware of an occasional breeze that he knew never pene- 
trated into the trail below. He had a clear panorama of the ridge 
before Santiago from the balloon: a pagodalike blockhouse capped 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 191 

the San Juan hill directly ahead, and there was a blue ranch house 
and a corral on the lesser rise to its left. Earthworks and barbed- 
wire entanglements staggered along the contours of both hills. 
Once the colonel saw a man in white walk slowly along the para- 
pet of a trinchera: an officer, because the sunlight glinted off a 
naked sword. ... 

Hmm. The extension of our trail curves up between the two 
hills and out of sight between their saddle; there is another road 
off left, too, which, no doubt, goes somewhere. There are carrion 
birds overhead. Very little else of remark. 

Glancing down, the colonel wondered again about the Seventy- 
first New York. They'd been lying doggo in the bushes for a long 
time now, with their feet stuck out in the trail and tripping other 
people going forward. Even from his height he had heard a gen- 
eral of division roar, regarding the prostrate New Yorkers, 'Tell 
the rest of the troops to pay no attention to this sort of thing. It is 
highly irregular!" 

Above, the colonel heard a dull plunk, and his balloon began to 
whistle like a man shot in the throat. Sooner or later this was 
bound to happen, he thought, either to the balloon or himself. 
. . . Dovm, down the basket sank quite deliberately, until it 
grounded. Its occupant stepped out unhurt, and another intrepid 
chapter had been written in the history of aerial warfare. 

A number of officers congratulated the colonel on his lucky 
escape, and the four enlisted men who had been towing the balloon 
stretched out while the colonel reported the fruits of his gallant 
looksee. 

"I saw men up there on those hills," the colonel said. "They 
are firing on our troops." 

A distinguished-looking civilian in khaki spat and walked away. 

Mr. Richard Harding Davis's khaki was rent and Mr. Davis's 
temper was frayed. In fact, he was incensed beyond measure, not 
merely over the Signal Corps' trifling, but because of the curs 
defending Santiago. . . . They had proven that the true color in 
their flag was the yellow of it! The skunks— placing guerrilla sharp- 



192 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

shooters in the jungle to pick off doctors, medical stewards, and 
even the helpless wounded! . . . 

It did not occur to Mr. Davis that plunging bullets from the 
distant hills could, and probably did, accomplish the deaths of 
unarmed men; however, whether it was by diabolism or accident, 
both the Aguadores and San Juan creeks now were a thin pink. 
More and more casualties were being ranked side by side, their feet 
in the streaky water, their backs propped against the muddy bank 
for protection, but still no word had come from headquarters for 
the jungle-swallowed corps. . . . 

That carcass, Shafter! If he were so ill that he could not com- 
mand, why had he not relinquished as Wheeler had? Now the time 
was noon and the men of Kent and Sumner still were thrashing 
about in this jungle hell, without orders, hideously confused, drop- 
ping like sheep! No one ever would find the bones of poor fellows 
who may have crawled off the trail to die; the land crabs, the wild- 
cats, ants, and hard-shelled spiders would glut themselves. The 
vain, bullheaded nincompoop who commanded this army ought 
to be 

A bullet winged by his ear, and Davis leaped into the under- 
growth. That was an aimed one! The trail here had debouched 
into a long clearing, as it did at various points— some of the widths 
comparable to Broadway, he said in Scribner's— and there was a 
tall, dense-leaved tree on a knoll in the center. Davis scanned the 
tree intently— his had been the keen eyes which had first spotted 
the enemy positions at Las Guasimas— until he saw a branch 
shake. Then, unmistakably, he saw breeches. 

He ran, crouching, to the nearest Americans: Rough Riders. 
Their leader had hurried his regiment across the San Juan and had 
deployed it on the edge of open ground along the west bank. 

''Come with me," Davis ordered a trooper. "IVe located one 
of their damned snipers!" 

Horace Bigod splashed back across the ford with Davis, and 
Caleb came along too. They crawled the last few yards to the 
fringe of the clearing, and the reporter pointed out the tree which 
was the guerrilla's nest. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 193 

''There!" he said suddenly. "See the leaves shaking? He's coming 
down, I think! No, maybe he's seen us!" 

"Keep your shirt on, partner," said Trooper Bigod, and he fired 
at the movement in the leaves. 

After a pause Caleb said, "My dibs." 

Perspiration stung his eyes and his glasses were fogged again, but 
he leveled carefully on the place. His blind spot blacked out the 
gun sights. He shot. 

A little man tumbled into view and, when he saw who was doing 
the shooting, came at them roaring like an alligator. A 'gator with 
a white beard, a sun helmet, and an Alabama accent. 

"Blithering idiots!" yelled General Wheeler. "Y'all like to killed 
me! Can't you damyankees tell when an officer is reconnoitering?" 

Behind the Rough Riders' position near the ford of the San 
Juan a captain from corps headquarters also was scouting, but he 
reined to a halt beside a piece of ordnance which looked like some- 
thing out of The War of the Worlds. Its crew were lying about 
on their backs, looking too unhappy to be dead, the captain saw. 
Creepers and vines above their upturned faces popped as bullets 
punctured them, but the artillerymen found no topic for conver- 
sation in this; one redleg had just mentioned cold beer, and all had 
fallen into a poignant silence. 

The captain dismounted and led his horse up to a sergeant in 
a dirty undershirt who was battering at the odd gun with an ax— - 
the blunt end, fortunately, the captain observed. 

"Having trouble, or making it. Sergeant?" he said. 

The glance the sergeant gave him might have warned a less 
obtuse officer that when a non-com had trouble he usually pre- 
ferred to handle it without being buzzed by idle staff punks; how- 
ever, the redleg mumbled a slightly equivocal "yessir." 

"I've never seen the Sims-Dudley rifle close up," the officer said. 
"Mind? Don't let me interrupt— er— whatever you're doing." 

"Nossir." 

"Interesting, interesting indeed. How much does it weigh?" 

The sergeant hitched his suspenders and poked the blade of 



194 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

the ax into the gun. "She weighs five-twentyeight, the carriage 
four-thirtyeight, the trail one-o-six. Sir." 

''That's quite a load to jackass through mud, Fd say." 

"Jackass is the word, Captain." 

The sergeant found a fulcrum for the axhead under the breach- 
block and heaved on the haft until he turned a rich cerise. Then 
the leverage slipped and he barked his knuckles. 

"Why, you miserable, no-good son of " the sergeant said, 

quite softly. He squatted, sucking his knuckles and considering 
new approaches to the nameless son. 

The captain peered curiously under the barrel. "And this is the 
pneumatic cylinder, I expect? The explosion of the activating 
charge compresses the air in this tube, and that in turn blows the 
shell through the rifle. Right?" 

"Right," the sergeant said, and began a systematic pounding 
around the open breach as if he were a cooper hooping a keg. 

"How much of a shell does " 

"The pay load of the project-tile," droned the redleg, who was 
fond of his gun after all, "is three-point-five pounds of dynamite 
gelatin, and the caliber is two-point-five." 

"Low muzzle velocity and a fairly high trajectory?" 

"Yessir. A good outfielder might guess he could shag our fungos, 
because you can see them coming. Her range is just under two thou- 
sand yards." 

"Remarkable, remarkable. The blast is tremendous, I've heard." 

"Tremenjous is the word, yessir." 

The officer cuddled his chin and frowned as the non-com hit the 
breech a special lick. 

"Wouldn't you say an ax is a rather crude instrument to use on 
a finely machined weapon like this. Sergeant?" 

"Yessir, I would, but it's all the tools we got." 

"What, may I ask, do you propose to accomplish with it?'* 

The sergeant showed acerbity. 

"Get the shell t'hell out that's stuck in the goddam breech, 
that's what— sir!" 

"A Jive shell?" 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 195 

"Yessir." 

The captain remounted and galloped off. 

The sergeant called his gunner. "Smitty, you come have a whack 
at this bugger." 

''O.K. . . . What did the captain want?" 

"Nothing. Just wanted to ask the usual damn-fool questions, 
but he lost interest. That's the main trouble with this army. No- 
body stays interested in nothing." 

Caleb and Horace passed the dynamite gun on their way back 
to the San Juan ford at one-thirty; Caleb shook his watch and 
put it to his ear to be sure. He felt a strange exhilaration over 
nearly having barked a two-star general off a limb like a squirrel; 
he held no grudge against the venerable athlete who had risen from 
his bed of pain to roam the woods at large, nor had he dreamed 
General Wheeler had been his target. Nevertheless— Caleb 
chuckled— he had potted at a general, a favor granted to few sons 
of women, and he found the thought amusing. He shared his can- 
teen with Horace as if it were a loving cup, and they were the new 
tandem champions of the Bachelor Wheelmen, when Horace, too, 
gave one of his very rare snickers. 

Not entirely to their surprise, an advance was starting when 
they reached their lines. From the history of his favorite war he 
read months later, Caleb gathered that no authority higher than 
a staff lieutenant had ordered the corps to assault the slopes of 
Kettle and San Juan hills, but, he wondered, was that untoward 
in an army whose oriflamme was a toothbrush in the hatband and 
whose second-in-command shinnied up trees? 

Waves of horseless cavalry stumbled into the open. Men with 
wire cutters and machetes were breaking gaps in the barbed wire at 
the bottom of the hill; the waves, congesting briefly against the 
fence, flowed onward as a swarm. Lieutenant Parker had turned 
up after a disappointing rendezvous with the Seventyfirst New 
York, and had his four Catlings stuttering over the heads of the 
swarm like woodpeckers gone crazy. Colonel Roosevelt, a battle- 
happy target tall on his horse, shrilled over the din. 



196 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

"Where the hell was you two at?" Corporal Seiffert barked when 
he saw the two truants. "Never mind lying to me now— there ain't 
time! Here we go/' 

Troop L waded into the waist-deep Parana grass as into water. 
The sun, the furnace which had made the jungle an oven, now be- 
came a giant with a fiery club that thrashed the bright field. 
Trooper Geoghegan rose to advance with his mates, only to pitch 
into the hot grass after a few steps. His face was clammy, his lips 
white. Trooper Woodruff stooped to raise his bunkie, but their 
corporal kicked Smoky Stu erect. 

"Leave him lay where Jesus flang him— he's just frazzled out." 
The kick was not hard, nor was the Noodle's tone. He was a jour- 
neyman asserting a workaday fact with neither contempt nor com- 
passion. 

Caleb's memory stored the impression of Seiffert's voice as it 
did the sight of Geoghegan's doughy face. Nor for the rest of his 
life did he forget the smell of rifle smoke and sweat, nor the molten 
feel of his body, nor the ratlike animal which leaped up at his 
feet to hide farther on in the rank grass, nor the monotonous 
whisk-whisk of leggings through the clinging stuff. . . . How did 
he keep going when tough hombres like Happy Jack fainted? Or 
was a light head and millstone feet the sign that he would keel 
over soon? . . . 

The trudge up Kettle Hill with carbines at port was dog's work 
and slow. Popular historians call it a "charge," implying briskness, 
or even banners and drums; however, there was no music, and 
only yellow guidons limp on their pikes, and men shambling for- 
ward with their mouths hanging open. 

Suddenly remembering an omission of his first action, Caleb 
fired his carbine. . . . Shooting was expected of a soldier, although 
why, when you saw nothing to shoot at, he could not say. But 
other men were pausing to fire as they went, so his feeling of being 
conspicuously absurd passed. ... He knelt the next time, aiming 
at a U-shaped notch in the first earthwork; he marked the place in 
his mind, believing he would look there when the swarm flooded 
over it, to see if he had hit an enemy. How he was to tell his vie- 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 197 

tim from other marksmen's he did not know, but a moment later, 
for no more significant a cause than a stumble which jarred his 
teeth, he forgot all about the idea of counting coups. 

Colonel Roosevelt was spuning Little Texas hell-for-leather to 
the forefront of the attackers, but to Caleb the bravery of the 
colonel and his horse was less remarkable than the way the Roose- 
veltian kerchief streamed out behind his neck. ... It was pe- 
culiar how you could notice a dramatic effect like that at a time 
like this, polka dots and all. . . . Caleb felt separate from the 
men falling around him; he was sorry for them, but not to distrac- 
tion; fear, the shadow of death, had not touched him. He believed 
he could even state calmly, if he were asked, how many shots were 
left in his magazine and in his web belt. 

His rifle was deflected by Smoky Stu when he knelt to aim again; 
the little cowboy lurched so heavily against him that both lost 
balance and tumbled flat into the scrub, and Caleb's glasses flew 
off, but did not break. 

"I got a punctured tire," Smoky said thickly. ". . . No, go on— 
scorch! Let me be. Til manage." 

The blood soaking through Woodruff's sweat-black shirt turned 
it a curious mulberry color, and because this thing was happening 
to a man with whom he had eaten that morning, a personal doubt 
came to Caleb. He stayed with the rest of the plodders up the hill, 
but his lips and knees quaked; powerful as the clap of fear was 
which struck Trooper Hawkins, the habit of moving along with 
his fellows was stronger. 

The crest of the hill was thirty yards away, and seemed deserted. 

Among the first on the crown of Kettle Hill, a young officer of 
the Tenth Cavalry swung his saber in the air and laughed. A huge 
black trooper looked up at him with veteran disapproval and said 
something to the young man, who laughed again. 
''They haven't cast the bullet that'll kill me, Luchious!" 
The bullet he could not have known about took the lieutenant 
in the mouth and carried away the back of his head. The big Negro 
wiped a spray of matter from his face and stared a question at a 



198 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

very white soldier wearing glasses, who also had witnessed the care- 
less death. Without a word, both sprang forward over the crest 
after the vanishing Spaniards, feeling perhaps that they were 
tempting fate to hang around so poor a prophet as the gay young 
lieutenant of a moment ago. 

The hill had a sugar cauldron on its top which made men call 
it Kettle; some sticklers later insisted it was the real San Juan 
Hill and that the San Juan-designate was named something else. 
All agreed, however, that there was a shallow lagoon between the 
crests of the two, through which the stormers of Kettle splashed 
to assault the higher **San Juan" to the south. The wash of the 
water about his thighs pleased Horace Bigod so much that he threw 
away his trousers. . . . There would be lots of men approximately 
his size lying around afterward who wouldn't object to lending 
a pair of pants; the need of pants during the night rains they'd 
be beyond noticing. But when you were on a war party it was 
better to go naked. . . . White men, of course, could not enjoy 
the tactile subtlety of the custom, which bothered Horace not at 
all. 

He tramped along with the cavalry swarm up their second slope 
of the day, wishing Spaniards were not so fleet of foot or that he 
were faster. The swarm he moved among now was a military slum- 
gullion of a half-dozen different regiments, some having no com- 
manders; however, the troops were as unaware of being leaderless 
in these instances as were the junior officers whom death and 
wounds had elevated. Sprinkled among the regulars and Rough 
Riders also were a number of grim fellows with a silver "71" on 
their slouch hats who individually had determined that they had 
come to Cuba to fight and not to lie in the bushes. 

Horace did not miss his bunkie, Foureyes, nor the rest of his 
squad from which he had become separated, for he felt entirely 
self-sufficient. There were only rare opportunities for an Episco- 
palian to ''count coups'' in a white man's world, and Two Strikes, 
the Sioux who had been sociably converted at Carlisle Institute, 
meant to wring the most from his chance. The dull day was ap 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 199 

preaching when he would have to become Horace Bigod forever, 
and a tinsmith or a reservation schoolteacher. His lust for battle 
was a simple thing; white men, however, complicated honorable 
killing with a lot of words. They caw-cawed over all natural appe- 
tites, as a matter of fact, not so much in an effort to understand 
themselves as to pester one another, and yet they had become the 
master race in spite of such foolishness. It was a remarkable thing. 

He fell over a dead Cuban and kicked a machete which looked 
worth picking up. On one side of the blade near the hilt was 
stamped "Made in Hartford, Ct., U.S.A.'' A hundred feet or so 
from the blockhouse on the San Juan hill Horace found a purpose 
for the jungle weapon from Hartford. 

''Here, hack this wire!" Colonel Roosevelt shouted, pointing 
to the last trocha with his revolver. ''Aren't you one of my men? 
. . . Well, later I want an explanation of what happened to your 
clothing, soldier! Have you no modesty?" 

Infantry, cavalry; blacks, whites, reds; Kent's men and Sumner's, 
all topped San Juan at once. 

When most of the swarm had engulfed the crest and passed 
on over, a civilian appeared on it, puffing a pipe and wearing a 
long rubber slicker which made heat-sick men vomit merely to look 
at. He stood on the parapet of the highest trinchera and looked 
down into it. A redheaded Spanish corpse caught his eye among 
the slain. 

*'Well, here we are," Stephen Crane said at large. . . . 

Somehow he'd never thought of Spaniards as having red hair, 
he realized as he made a note of it, any more than before this 
day he had pondered the "awful majesty of a man shot in the face." 

He sat down on a bass drum which balanced unaccountably 
on the parapet; something clinked in the pocket of his rubber 
coat, and he took out a pair of spurs, made as if to throw them 
away, but replaced them when he saw some soldiers watching him 
curiously. The bugs were working in his blood again; he felt weak 
and chilled, even under the high sun. 

Colonel Roosevelt and a nude Indian who struck Crane as fa- 



200 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

miliar came out of the bullet-pocked fort. The colonel was fully 
dressed but his teeth looked as naked as the Indian's hide to Crane, 
for he was excited, tremendously excited. His normally high voice 
had gained an octave when he waved his navy revolver at the 
corpses in the dirty white uniforms. 

'Just look at these damned dead Spaniards!" he said. "I killed 
one with my own hand— he was trying to hide!" 

. . . Give the boss of the Rough Riders enough ammunition 
and advertising. Crane thought, and he'll storm any hill in the 
world. T. R. was a freak; a gentleman politician was bound to be. 
. . . Roosevelt went away, but the Indian who was clad in an 
identification disk came over to Crane and said: 

''Was it underwear or socks you staked me to in Tampa, Mr. 
Crane?" 

Then Crane remembered him. "Did you kill any Spaniards in 
the blockhouse with your own hand, Bigod?" 

"No," Horace said, throwing away the Hartford machete. "There 
wasn't but one slowpoke left in there, and the colonel outranked 
me." 

Caleb willed to move one foot, just one. He strained to impose 
his will on the right foot. ... If the head wouldn't move and a 
man couldn't get up from this absurd position, he thought with 
a burst of terror, something was wronger than a mere "punctured 
tire" like Smoky Stu's. . . . 

The foot would not move, so he closed his eyes, exhausted by 
the concentration. Dread nibbled at his wits because, although 
he felt no pain, he was unable to move. He did not know where 
he was hit nor how much he had bled. One moment he had been 
running to vault over a dead tree trunk, and then the stunning 
blow had seemed to electrocute him, after which there had been 
a blankness lasting some indefinite time. When he came to, he 
saw his feet propped in a perfectly silly fashion on the same rotten 
log he had tried to clear; that had been a long time ago, but still 
he lay in his abandoned position, legs spread wide and heels rest- 
ing in the pink fungus on the log. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 201 

So far as he could see along the foreshortened length of himself, 
there was no blood. He wondered if he were split up the back, but 
— God, God— he couldn't feel a thing, and he couldn't move. 

He wept a little and fainted again. 

Horace and Fred Murray found him by the light of a lantern 
they had stolen. The Indian had two purposes in roaming the hill- 
side in the dark, and now that he had clothed himself, the find- 
ing of his bunkie had achieved the other. Rattlesnake Fred had 
come along looking for souvenirs. 

The two looked down at their fallen squad mate, and Murray 
wagged his head mournfully. 

'Toor old Foureyes," he said. ''He was a good pardner. Nobody 
ever asked him for a fight that he didn't get one." 

Caleb did not believe he could talk, but when he heard his epi- 
taph he found he could— they might bury him for a muerto- 
mueito! 

''Come off that," he said, not without force. "I'm not dead. Just 
get me out of this!" 



xxu 



''Oh, things could be worse, I suppose, but I don't know how," 
the surgeon said as he rinsed his hands. 

The hands shook so badly after twenty hours of continuous 
cutting that Warren shivered to think of them preparing for more. 

"We are at least pleased with the men's wounds," the doctor 
continued. "Medically speaking, that is, of course. Out of the four, 
five hundred— frankly, I've lost track of our cases— so far, there are 
few men smashed up internally. The Mauser bullet drills bone as 
cleverly as flesh, or otherwise the task of surgical repair would have 
gotten totally out of hand. Now you must excuse me. I see the 
wagons coming." 

You could hear the moans first, Warren thought, and then 
smell the cargoes before you could see them. These tumbrels never 



202 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

were meant to haul men, hurt men, but rather ammunition to in- 
flict hurt on other men; as ambulances, they were manure carts. 
When a driver had to whip his team and jolt across the potholes 
of a creek to gather momentum for the opposite bank, his freight 
was flung by heaps from tail gate to headboard and back again, 
and because the wagon beds had been roughened by heavy cases, 
the wounded slid on splinters to jumble their miseries. A trifling 
thing a splinter was, but Warren heard a man with several wounds 
groan and beg, "Please, for the love of God, Doc, pick out the 
lumber afore the lead!" 

"Will my friend walk when he recovers, do you think?" Warren 
said. 

Caleb had been shot through the upper chest, the doctor said; 
the bullet had made a clean passage, wrenched at its victim's back- 
bone on its way out, and had left the surgeon with little to do but 
let nature and time have their chance. Like most of the hospital's 
patients, Warren had found, Caleb lay in the dew without tent, 
blanket, or pillow, and would bum under the sun as he lay, also. 
However, he still wore some clothing, and whoever had brought 
him in had wrapped him in a poncho. The "hospital" had no such 
supplies; men were scissored out of uniforms to stay naked to 
weather, flies, and to stegomyia iasciata, the mosquito of yellow 
fever, as the doctors Agramonte, Carroll, Lazear, and Reed were 
soon to discover by experimenting with death. 

"Will my friend walk again?" Warren repeated. 

"I can't say." The surgeon spoke with a sudden harshness. "I 
can't tell. I don't know anything." He rubbed his eyes like a child. 

Warren felt ashamed of being insistent when the man was so 
dog-tired and irritable. Ten of him there were for three army divi- 
sions, and until late last night after the battle there had been 
only five, with the help of a few orderlies to do the lifting, the 
cleaning of flesh, the bonesetting. . . . Warren flooded with 
anger, sick at soul because he knew its futility. Would to God the 
bigmouths who had shouted and prayed for this war were here 
in place of these wounded! In pain and delirium, and without food, 
or a rag to keep their bodies off the ground! Casualties, the reports 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 203 

would read; casualties—what in the name of Christ on the Cross 
was "casual" about human agony? But it was a usefully colorless 
word for the arithmetic of butchery. 

'Tm sorry. Doctor," Warren mumbled. "I was shocked to find 
this fellow here. I " 

His mind left his sentence, because Caleb's bloodless face 
hypnotized him. How could it belong to the chap with mobile eyes 
and the cynical leer he'd known in Philadelphia? Warren won- 
dered. That fop, that Philistine who always had been so cockily 
sure of himself was— this stranger? 

"Someday, please the Lord," Warren thought aloud, "we'll both 
laugh when I tell him he looked as innocent as a dead nun." 

"You speaking to me?" a bandaged soldier said. He was one 
of those who, although hurt themselves, were trying to help the 
desperate hospital staff. He carried a canteen in his good hand. 

"No, friend," Warren said, and had to hurry away, because the 
look of the bandaged man added to that of Caleb's face swelled 
pity in Warren's heart to bursting. 

Mother whose heart hung humble as a button 
On the bright splendid shroud oi your son. 
Do not weep. 
War is kind. 

Crane had said that one night in Tampa, adding that nobody 
wanted to publish his poem, but now a hospital-by-courtesy had 
published its bitter-tender truth for Warren Spangler. 

. . . Where was Steve? He had missed him at the correspond- 
ents' camp near El Pozo that morning, and had stopped at the field 
hospital to see if he had turned up there, in fact. Tomas had said, 
when Warren awoke, "The sefior Crane, he gone, boss. Boss, he 
got more vomito coming back to him, the sefior Crane — you not 
see this thing yesterdia?" 

No, Warren had to confess, he hadn't noticed; he had been too 
self-concerned, and it made him feel guilty, too. One of young Mr. 
Spangler's inner confusions was beginning to resolve itself; he was 
leaming that he was bom to be a Brother's Keeper, despite his 



204 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

nourished contempt for do-gooders. He was not a parader of 
''shallow and preposterous fictions" as Steve had said of another 
man, a soft-tongued, heartless hypocrite, for Warren was annoyed 
by this new-found land within himself which had lain there un- 
discovered. ... It sure as hell would interfere with Getting On 
in the world! . . . 

Behind San Juan Hill shelter tents had blossomed. On its crest 
Spanish trenches were being faced about toward today's enemy; the 
diggers scratched at the stony soil with sticks, meat cans, bayonets 
—anything but shovels— and ducked the nuisance fire of the Span- 
iards as they could. Water was a towering want; canteens largely 
were empty, and several men carrying comrades' empties had been 
killed going back to the streams. The enemy had attacked in mass 
once during the night, their uniforms ghostly in the moonlight, but 
the Catlings and Colt machine guns had wilted their charge. This 
attack and the promise of others had made sleeping hard, even 
though many men were tired to the brink of nervous breakdown; 
cat naps were the rule except for those turniplike souls who always 
can manage to sleep anjwhere, including such times as when their 
teeth are being filled. 

''Will we stay here?" Warren asked various Americans. "What 
do you think?" 

"Certainly." "I doubt it." "Who knows?" replied the officers. 

"Anything but going back into that damn jungle!" said the men. 

Rumor had it that the general— Hawkins, of Kent's division — 
who had been the valiant who led the hottest fighting of the 
previous day, was for retiring from the exposed ridge. Another 
whitehead, the peripatetic invalid Wheeler, was for holding on 
until you could skate across Styx. The divided opinions of all the 
high muckamucks were discussed widely, and everyone from dock- 
side recruits up to field officers was saying, "Now if I was Shafter 

" The interest of every new rumor was in reverse proportion to 

the distance to the trenches-of-natural-convenience which, inciden- 
tally, certain lovers of lace-curtain words were calling "latrines." 

At the salient on the right wing Colonel Roosevelt was quite 
properly digging in as if he meant to fight it out along this line 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 205 

if it took all summer, to which others groaned and said, "God for- 
bid!'^ Parker's Gatling boys were with him, and so was the lanky 
sergeant with the daffy dynamite gun; 'Tort Roosevelt" grew 
under the broiling sky only twenty degrees from the equator, and 
*'closer'n that to the farrs of hell," one former circuit rider among 
the Rough Riders told Warren. Sullen shooting by the Spaniards 
bristled into another heavy attack by midmorning; afterward 
sniping and long-range cannonading resumed, as did thoughts of 
home and cold water. 

A regular captain with a white beard summed up the general 
situation with due emphasis on his service prejudices, but in a way 
which sounded reasonable enough to Warren. 

'To be fair, we did not 'drive' the Spaniards from this position," 
he said slowly. He had a habit of rolling his eyeballs as he ticked 
off his points, and Warren guessed he must have done penance at 
some remote time, teaching philosophy at a military academy for 
incorrigible sons of the rich. 

"We cannot take credit for taking what the enemy gave us," 
the captain said, closing his eyes to set his ducks in a row. "It re- 
quired a shove by us, but this was only a strong picket line, after 
all. I doubt if many more than a thousand men held it. Their main 
lines of resistance are untouched, and I think they will maintain a 
siege so long as Cervera's fleet remains in the harbor. Also, their 
most powerful allies— June, July, and August— are at peak strength, 
and we are an unacclimated horde. The dons probably rely heavily 
on those deadly supporters; they themselves still suffer in this cli- 
mate after four centuries of practice. 

"No, I don't think we should perch on this exposed, hard-to- 
supply hill, but should pull back and reorganize and let that 
damned navy of ours move in to do its share of fighting! Shafter 
and Linares are at each other's throats merely to save their ex- 
pensive fleets from being scratched!" 

Warren said, "Well, maybe you're right, but I hope for the 
sake of a quick end to this sad-hello that withdrawal won't be taken 
for timidity." 

The captain eyed him coldly. "Young man. General Shafter may 



2o6 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

be sick and he may be something less than a Ulysses Grant, but 
timid men are not awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor." 
"Oh? When did he get that?" 

"On the Peninsula, during the War of the Rebellion." 
"Well, Fm glad to hear it, but he was younger and leaner then, 
wasn't he? Not that Oh, Steve! Steve Crane! I've been look- 
ing for you!" 

As Tomas had warned. Crane did look bad, and smelled of 
whisky. He seemed cheerful, however. 

"Well, Stretch, me bucko! Say, I have a suggestion. ..." 
A run dovm to Jamaica on a press boat? It sounded good to War- 
ren — if the old captain's tactical reasoning was sound, no purpose 
could be served by hanging around the lines for a while. And more 
than he yearned for riches or fame Warren wanted to souse in 
a bathtub and have a meal served at a table. At Kingston, besides, 
he could file an accumulation of battle stories on the cables and 
bring back limes and canned peaches for Caleb. The doctor at 
the hospital had said that the wounded cried for such things in 
their delirium as often as for wife or mother. 

"A junket to B.W.I, sounds spiflfy, Steve, but can we be back 
in two days, say?" 

"I don't intend to miss anything here, either, you old improper 
noun!" Crane said. "Santiago is getting reinforcements from Man- 
zanillo soon— oh, there's no mystery about it! The Cubans have 
been harrying the column. We'll get back on the ball in time for 
the gala reception. Furthermore, Lawton is in place now on our 
right, and the siege of Troy has begun." 

"I heard as many say we're going to pull back." 
"If true, we'd have even more time. Let's push! . . ." 
Crane was faithful to his promise that they would not dawdle. 
On Sunday evening, just a day after they had steamed into Kings- 
ton, the W odd's tug sighted Cuba again. The two reporters sat 
comfortably on deck under an awning, recalling times out of mind 
when a chair was merely a piece of furniture and not of heaven and 
when a shave with clear, hot water was a diurnal bore. A feeling of 
well-being flowed back through Warren; his only worry was for his 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 207 

friend, whose fever, or whatever it was, would not permit him to 
eat or rest properly. Crane's blue eyes burned, and he belted at a 
bottle for nourishment, resenting attempts at interference, of 
course. Still, both of them had accomplished everything Kingston 
was good for: baths, a night in bed, hot food, cold drinks, and they 
had sent off their dispatches, jawing the Negresses at the cable 
keys for showing a maddening disdain for immediacy. And they 
had bought limes, canned goods, and— in Crane's case — liquor. 

''Free speech, free trade, and free silver," Crane said, toasting 
Warren and the Cuban shore line. 

"Free Cuba and free love," Warren responded absently, raising 
his binoculars. ''Sampson hasn't budged from the harbor entrance. 
I can make out the Texas, the Oregon— and isn't that ship off left 
the Brooklyn?" 

" 'Off left!' What a lubberly way to convey 'port beam,' you 
swab!" Crane said, refusing the glasses with a gesture. "By the way. 
Stretch, why are left-handed pitchers crazy? Ever thought about 
that?" 

"No. ... I think we're going to be paged." 

An auxiliary warship eased over to inspect the tug. The gray, 
businesslike yacht once had been sleek in gold and white, and a mil- 
lionaire had taken summer ease on her afterdeck, but then the year 
had been 1897; now, instead of an awning over a rich man, there 
was a tarpaulin over a gun. 

"Ahoy, the deck," Crane said suddenly, feet hitting the planks 
as he rose. "I know that chap with the megaphone. He tried to help 
me get into the Navy." Cupping his hands, he shouted, "Bun! That 
you? What's new?" 

"Hi, Steve— haven't you heard?" 

"Heard what?" 

"Why, Cervera came out this morning!" 

"Of course he did!" 

"Honest, I mean!" the lieutenant insisted. 

"Yes, I know. Where's his fleet now?" 

"Sunk!" 

"All of it, no doubt?" 



2o8 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

"Yes, yes!" 

"Who do you think we are— horse marines?" 

"But Fve told you— aw!" The officer slapped a hand at the sea 
breeze, turned his back, and disappeared below. 

"Fancy!" Crane said. "Yonder rocks our fleet as it has for weeks, 
every hair and anchor in place, and Bun strains to make a joke 
about it. Fm disappointed in him." 

When they went ashore at Siboney they found that the naval 
officer had told the truth. The Spanish squadron had salHed 
through the narrow harbor neck, and down to the last ship lay scat- 
tered along miles of ocean floor or was burning in shoal water. Sur- 
vivors who had been booze-braced for the naval suicide were blun- 
dering along the coast in their underwear, drunken and unarmed. 
Some who did not escape, or who were not taken by the Americans, 
were being ranged in tidy rows on the beach by Cubans who had 
shot them. The mcLuihis felt proud to have their pictures taken in 
warlike attitudes over their half-naked trophies. 

Crane exploded when he heard Bun's story verified. 

"Can you imagine— those smug battleships ate up four armored 
cruisers and two destroyers while our backs were turned! There 
they lay when we came back, crouched by the same old mousehole, 
but the mice were in their stomachs! Dammit, they hadn't even 
the decency to smile!" 



xxm 



A ceiba is a tree with pods which contain kapok, and under the 
bushy shade of a particular ceiba the capitulation of Santiago was 
arranged. Not the "surrender," please— meticulous about pundonor 
to the end, the Spaniards stiffly refused to accept the word. How- 
ever, like Henry of Navarre, who had said that Paris was worth a 
mass and had traded his Protestantism for a crown, William Rufus 
Shafter saw no reason to balk at swapping a word for a city, either. 

He dickered with the Spanish negotiators somewhat desperately, 
for during the days when he met with them under El Aihol de la 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 209 

Paz, the tree of the peace, WilHam Rufus's army went to the bow- 
wows. So, too— although he did not know it until later— did that 
of the defenders within the city's wire and walls. The besiegers 
went hungry and fell sick by the thousands; the besieged starved 
and died, too, especially those not in uniform. Santiago had had a 
head start toward starvation because of the long years of the re- 
bellion; like the rest of the island raptly called "The Pearl of the 
Antilles," it was pearly only by having been bled white. So, with 
their commands rotting away behind them, Generals Shafter and 
Toral sat on the kneelike roots of the giant ceiba politely threaten- 
ing, cajoling, but most of all bluffing each other, and in the inter- 
vals when there was no truce hurled other arguments back and 
forth which killed a few more soldiers, civilians, and dogs. 

The precise words spoken under the tree were not known to the 
American troops who, by the twelfth of July, had completed sur- 
rounding the town, but their essential drift was. The drift of high- 
echelon conversation usually is known to private soldiers; com- 
manding generals do not get other brass hats to cook for them, nor 
to police butts around headquarters, just for instance. Hence Caleb 
and Smoky Stu Woodruff, mending after a fashion on the ship 
Olivette, heard the rumors and thrashed out the strategies of the 
big operators on their own plane. 

''Now if'n I was our Lardbucket," Smoky said, 'Td catch aholt 
of this here dago by a fistful of shirt and say, 'Lookit here, Josey, 
why don't you and me settle this argument like men?' Fd say. 
'Meet me out in the alley, I dare you,' I'd say. Wouldn't that save 
a pickle all around, now I ask you?" . 

Caleb agreed that there was merit to the idea of settling disputes 
by individual champions, and mentioned examples from the Old 
Testament, the fables of King Arthur, and Matthew Arnold. 
Trooper Woodruff was pleased that history had liked his proposal, 
and enlarged on it with greater confidence. . . . After all, he was 
so iggerant he had to study out whether "cuss" was spelled with a k, 
but Foureyes looked genuine interested. . . . 

"Yeah, I forgot about David and Goliah, and I never heard of 
your Soreass and Rustin' gazabos, but those old-timers had a pretty 



210 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

foxy idea all the same/' Smoky said. "Take this here war. Suppos- 
ing when the bickering got too hot for nobody to enjoy his drinks, 
like last year— supposing McKinley had told the King of Spain, 
Tardner, let's you and me go fetch our gangs and tussle this out/ 
Meaning that Mack would of got Congress and the King his passel 
of lawyers, whatever's their name, and they'd shoot it out." 

''Shooting's pretty rough," Caleb said. "Besides, bystanders 
might get hurt, just as they do now." 

"O.K." Smoky said. "Then let them go at it with billies." 

"On whose home field?" 

Smoky worked out that detail quickly. "Neither's. They could 
meet in Ireland and be sure of a crowd and also of umpires that'd 
work for the fun of it." 

"I admit it sounds attractive, but how could you be sure the 
right side would win the discussion?" 

"Why, hell, Foureyes, that wouldn't make no difference! By the 
time them old stuffed shirts got done whaling each other and the 
papers published pictures of them with lumps, could you keep a 
straight face? Why, the whole damn world would laugh so hard 
that they could hear it even in Rooshia!" 

"By God, Smoky, considering the shape I'm in, I'd vote for you 
for President on that ticket!" 

"It ain't nothing." 

Tlie runt fell to scratching under his sling and chest band- 
ages, and offered to scratch Caleb if he liked, a service which the 
latter accepted gratefully. When Smoky had worked over their 
itches he found time to digest an uncomfortable afterthought. 

"Nope, it won't work— I forgot something important. You know 
how a town hires a marshal to gun for tough hombres? Hell's fire, 
can you imagine what'd happen first thing the President told the 
Senate, Tack your brass knuckles, boys— we got a date'?" 

"They'd cat on him?" 

"Either that or hire ringers. Why, they'd be more husky ringers, 
both Yank and dago, show up in Ireland and calling one another 
Tour Honor' to give themselves a laugh than " 

"—you could shake a shillelagh at." 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 211 

"Yeah, and I guess Congress would be crazy not to pay young, 
dumb, and useless birds like you and me to settle their messes, 
anyhow. We told them they're right valuable because we elected 
them, and they believe it." 

"Which puts us right back where we started. Smoky." 

"Not quite. I ain't back in good old Tucumcari, but I sure wish 
I was!" 

A woman in a starched shirtwaist came along then and gave them 
glasses of "Red Cross cider," an improvisation of Clara Barton's 
girls which was compounded of the juice of stewed apples or prunes 
with limes added. Two days after the Red Cross had pitched in, 
conditions had improved in the field hospital and on the transports 
until they were merely miserable. Four days after San Juan and 
Caney, only men with abdominal wounds upon whom the sur- 
geons operated were sure of dying; for the rest there was a sporting 
chance despite their diets of dough and "embalmed beef." The 
so-called hospital ships were the same old transports with few mat- 
tresses and no ventilation; the tent hospital at Siboney had no 
mattresses and many drafts, which blew in the dust from supply 
trains, the wetness of the daily storms, and mosquitoes by the mil- 
lions. 

Caleb and the wound patients who had been removed to ship- 
board were luckier; many a man left on shore recovered from Span- 
ish bullets only to be killed by fever. The feculent town of Siboney 
was set afire by order instead of being cleaned and limed, to the 
despair of some observers, for despite their dirt the mining shacks 
had watertight roofs and dry floors, so that by their burnt offering 
the authorities deprived the sick of the only available protection 
against the storms. The incendiarism of the doctors struck some of 
the wounded as overdone punctility, especially when the M.D.s 
did not seem to mind that if a man were too ill to walk a hundred 
yards to a latrine he had to depend on passers-by to empty his 
personal tin can. 

Shortly after Caleb was raised aboard the Olivette, showing some 
signs of recovering from his shock paralysis, a yellow-fever camp 
was pitched two miles north of the razed village. Armed guards 



212 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

patrolled its quarantine, and any man— or woman— with a tempera- 
ture was likely to be sent there on general suspicion, to survive or 
die as luck and his own constitution decreed. The medical aids 
were quinine, epsom salts, castor oil, and contract doctors who too 
often were criminally incompetent. 

Stephen Crane, in common with every soldier in the trenches, 
knew this; however ill a man became, he preferred to remain in the 
lines rather than report on sick call for any reason whatsoever. 
Like the doughboys. Crane insisted on going about his duties, to 
Warren Spangler's distress. They had gotten the sick man a polo 
pony from Jamaica finally, but Warren, who had been told what a 
centaur his friend was, saw Crane weave and tumble from the 
saddle. 

''Why don't you give up and go back to the States, Steve! Be 
reasonable!'' 

''These others can't. . . . I've got to share." 

"God damn it, Steve, you're mad!" 

But Crane laughed, brushed away protests, and lived on bananas, 
quinine, and whisky— until the day his friends forcibly loaded him 
aboard a hospital ship at Daiquiri, raving. 

"There is no life, no joy, no pain!" he shouted. "There is nothing 
but opinion, and opinion be damned! . . . Boy, fetch me a pickle 
and an ice-cream soda!" 

Warren never saw him again, but when Stephen Crane died 
only two years afterward Warren wept. Crane would stay tall in 
his mind, and always young; perhaps, Warren thought, Steve him- 
self might have said that it was a good thing when the good died 
young, for it prevented them from becoming bores. That would 
have been like Steve, the tender iconoclast, the poet-athlete, the 
man who had only contempt for any deity that persecuted fools to 
prove its godhead, and who was reputed to have been— by marsh- 
mallow-minds he shocked— the bastard of Grover Cleveland. 

The final days of the siege of Santiago wore heavily on Warren 
without Crane, so with his wretchedness unrelieved except by the 
limited companionship of Tomas, Clarke Davis's instructions came 
as reprieve. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 213 

''Return home should Santiago surrender/' his editor cabled. 
''We may send another man with the Miles expedition to Porto 
Rico. . . . Refer your question about overediting of your reports, 
suggest you reread the originals a few months from now and then 
decide who was right. Personal strain showed in your writing, we 
felt. Come home when city is taken and sit beside a stream for a 
while and watch sticks float by. . . ." 

The cablegram hardly had time to be soiled in Warren's pocket 
before he mounted Casey and rode out to the heights of Conosa, 
the surrender field of Santiago. As the donkey carried him along, 
his caliper legs dangling to the ground when he forgot to keep 
them bent, Warren wondered if July seventeenth ever had been 
historic before. His almanac said the sixteenth was the anniversary 
of the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem and that the eight- 
eenth would bring an eclipse of the sun invisible at Philadelphia, 
but said nothing about this happy date. He goggled at the platoons 
of generals in column, solemnly riding to the towering ceiba tree; 
they looked scrubbed, down to their swords, which gleamed 
bravely. Shafter and his chief aide, the tall, thin Lieutenant Miley 
who had ordered the Army to charge at San Juan, suddenly re- 
minded Warren of how Sancho Panza and Don Quixote might 
have looked if their ranks had been reversed, and he felt sure the 
Spaniards would laugh. 

A Yankee band stationed near the tree burst into a Sousa march 
when the generals and their cavalry escort advanced to meet the 
enemy officers. Warren doubted if his own style on Casey was 
suited to the occasion, but he was supremely happy over the end 
of slaughter— along this front, anyhow. 

"According to hallowed custom," he wrote, "the grave Spanish 
general proffered his sword to our commander," but his mind wan- 
dered back to the trifling incident of the carriage they had passed 
at the junction of the Caney Road. The slim-spoked vehicle had 
come spanking along in the opposite direction, and the cavalry 
had moved over to allow its driver to take his muslin-clad women 
passengers by. The troopers' eyes had popped, and they murmured ^ 
in admiration over— the parasoled ladies in white? ]Ste^Jlm^w0ndQr * 



§0 M "^^ 



'j^iS^-^ 



214 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

of a smartly turned-out carriage! That shiny rig had cheered the 
boys, to Warren's amusement, and he had snickered over their, "A 
carriage, now! Well, that gets me!" 

"General Shafter, also acceding to courtesies due the brave, re- 
fused the sword of Jose Toral, and presented him instead with the 
saber and spurs of the Spaniard's dead comrade-in-arms, the heroic 
Vara del Rey, leader of Caney's bitter resistance." This, too, 
Warren wrote, studying the ranks of enemy soldiery as he did 
so. . . . 

There they stood not twenty yards away, brisk enough in blue- 
and-white and red-and-blue, holding those vicious Mausers at pre- 
sent arms— here now was The Spaniard face to face. The cruel foe, 
the unseen foe, the valiant foe, but always a creature of mystery 
who had been so even when lying dead in an abandoned trench. 
Now the veil was torn, and you saw "young, jolly, rather innocent- 
looking fellows" who wore sneakers, of all the dodgasted things! 
. . . And when the ceremonies were finished their trumpeters blew 
a snappy fanfare and the young men in sneakers marched back 
into the city to stack their rifles just as if they didn't give a damn! 
It was rather humiliating to find that The Spaniard was a beardless 
youngster in soft shoes who looked amiably indifferent to defeat, 
especially after all the stories one had heard about their fondness 
for eating infants and raping grandmothers. Warren wondered if 
he dared ask one of the stolid Yank regulars whether he felt as let 
down, but decided that the man would think him touched. 

"At noon precisely the American flag will be raised over the 
governor's palace," General Shafter's order of the day had read. 
"The regimental bands will play 'The Star-Spangled Banner' and 
the troops will cheer"— oh, that gracious military use of "will"! 
Warren was rather curious about cheering on command— would it 
be sprung by a " 'Ten-SHUT! By the numbers . . . CHEER!" or 
would there be signalmen to lead the lung artillery by wigwag? 

Crochety old Jumbo had been cunning about naval participation 
in the formalities, too; some said his invitation to Admiral Samp- 
son had been timed to arrive too late, thereby conveying his con- 
tempt for the service which had placed the burden of conquest on 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 215 

his corps. Less amusing to Warren was the commanding general's 
refusal to admit any Cuban soldiery into the city— although it was 
full of their families— on grounds that ''feeling between Spaniards 
and Cubans is very bitter." Garcia must have howled over that; 
certainly he was reported to be having a monumental case of the 
sulks. 

"Tangle after tangle of barbed wire ringed the approaches to the 
city, and as we passed through, our officers could not help thanking 
God that their men had not been ordered to assault the beastly 
stuff. Only by walking over their own dead could they have 
breached it." For all his mistakes and peculiarities. Fatty was stub- 
born about saving lives, bless him. If he left much to be desired 
as a tactician, no one could underrate Shafter as a salesman, War- 
ren thought; before sending his literally decimated army against 
this wire, the general resisted all urging to attack, including some 
from his superior. Miles, until he had made a stern try at whee- 
dling a victory. Oh, it was true that the Spanish commander, 
Linares, was wounded and his successor depressed, and that both 
were willing to "capitulate" honorably, providing their fares were 
paid back to Spain. It also was evident now to fire-eating critics of 
Old Butterbutt that some of the cannon protecting the wire bore 
the date 1724, but Shafter hadn't the advantage of second sight, as 
his critics would have. The masterminds would set up a bawl: 
Dickie Davis, the Journal people, the Navy, and Sylvester Scovel 
of the New York World. . . . 

Sylvester Scovel stood, an intent young man in a yachting cap, 
waiting with Warren and the other reporters for the cathedral 
clock in the plaza to proclaim noon. In Santiago's plaza also waited 
a guard from the Ninth Infantry, a band, a few thousand Santia- 
gans, and photographers and sketch artists ready to record the 
transmutation of empire. On the roof of the palace facing the 
hushed square the thin aide of General Shafter waited too, the 
halyards of a flag in his hands. There was no wind. The silence was 
hot, tense, impressive. 

Sylvester Scovel was thinking . . . thinking perhaps of the sen- 
sational trick the Hearst crowd were going to come over him and 



*,. jr---*-**^?****"' " 



2i6 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

his colleagues of the World, for ready for pasting on walls through- 
out the beaten city were stacks of placards: ''Remember the Maine 
and Read the New York Journal." A pretty clever coup, indeed, 
while here he stood letting his rivals grab credit for the peace as 
well as for the war. . . . Then the waiting photographers caught 
his eye again, and he acted swiftly on a splendid idea. 

Sylvester Scovel, too, appeared in the palace roof beside Lieu- 
tenant Miley and his flag— if Whistler could sign his paintings with 
a butterfly, Sylvester Scovel would initial the surrender of Santiago 
in the eyes of the World by his unmistakable yachting cap— arriba, 
Pulitzer! 

In the plaza below, a fat man melting in a choker collar espied 
Sylvester Scovel and his cap. 

''Throw that fellow off the rooff* General Shafter ordered two 
brawny doughboys. 

Sylvester Scovel descended under his own power, however, but 
he was neither a coward nor a man to be humiliated by a mere 
general of corps. To the amazement of everyone in the still square 
he advanced on the big-bellied symbol of conquering America and 
threw a punch at his nose. General Shafter just did dodge. 

The ancient clock in the cathedral tower creaked, and struck. 

"Pre-sent . . . H'ARMSf 

Sabers flashed to salute; rigidly staring past their rifle barrels, the 
men in the ranks saw the flag begin to rise. Their regimental band 
crashed into the stirring old drinking song which is the anthem of 
the United States, and only some of the surly natives failed to feel 
a prickle of pride along their spines. 

The flag climbed slowly up the staff, clinging to it as if bashful. 
In the distance the guns of Captain Capron saluted the flag the 
gunners could not see, but the troops on San Juan yelled so 
thunderously that those in the plaza heard them. 

The soldiers below the flag did not cheer, since men at attention 
may not, but men at attention can think. Some found themselves 
hoping that the limp bundle of sovereignty now near the peak of 
its staff would brace up and not look so durn dejected. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 217 

At the last moment it caught a breeze and rolled out. 
The cameras clicked. 

In the public square of Santiago, Sylvester Scovel stood on a 
pedestal from which a statue had been removed. On his way past 
to look around the captured city Warren Spangler said: 

''Remind me to tell you the inspiring story of St. Simeon Stylites 
sometime, Sylvester." 

Perhaps if the bayonets of his guards had not looked so sharp, 
or if the pillar in the sun on which they kept him had not been so 
high, perhaps the hot-tempered Sylvester Scovel might have at- 
tempted to dot another nose. 



XXIV 



The first glimpse the proprietor of the New York Journal had of 
the shining mountains and royal palms of the Cuban coast had sent 
him thrills. 

'*My God! How could this paradise have been abandoned to 
mere savages?" a friend heard him exclaim. 

When the Journal's chartered yacht took him home after a few 
weeks in paradise he had the shakes, his pulse fluttered one hun- 
dred and forty to the minute, and his eyes were two fried eggs. He 
leaned over the rail of the Sylvia, and shook his fist at the same 
serene mountains and palms. 

''My God!" Mr. Hearst groaned, "how can even savages live 
there?" 

In Caleb Hawkins's case he was asleep when his ship steamed 
out of Santiago, nor had he strength for valedictory even if he 
had been awake. He could not have stood at the rail, either, for 
Caleb could not walk. After grim tussles of will which left him 
gasping and which produced no better results with his legs than a 
spasmodic jerking, Caleb had thought of kiUing himself. He would 
not stand the indignity of being helpleess! 

But the thought of suicide was a passing despair, for his sanity 



2i8 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

had allies, oddly grouped as allies often are: two were his father 
and an attack of malaria, and the third was a woman. The third 
was probably most important; the male ego shows remarkable 
adjustability when its buttons are respaced by knowing female fin- 
gers. However, first came the fever. 

The seeds of malaria in his blood bore their crops of chills-and- 
willies during his convalescence, and it was right after regaining his 
senses from the first onslaught that Caleb discovered that he could 
move his arms. His shock-stunned nerves were recovering, but 
Caleb always swore that the curse of swamp fever was the blessing 
which began the cure of his paralysis. It scarcely matters whether 
he was wrong, for he believed, and belief is a powerful drug, allo- 
pathic for many things from Christian Science to horse racing. 
Faith of any kind was a newness to Caleb, and, like a Janissary or a 
rake turned monk, he was far fiercer in his conviction than if he had 
been born to it. By the end of July, when he sailed for the States, 
he could move his head, turn his body, and feed himself, great 
victories for his soul despite— or because of— intermittent bouts 
with shivers and sweats. 

George Fox Hawkins pulled wires to have his son released to his 
care, partly because he was his son and equally because to George 
healing was a duty. When he had seen Caleb's name published 
among the list of wounded George had gone into action, even unto 
the temple gates of Moloch. 

"Thee does not need my son for thy army," he told a colonel in 
the War Department. "Thee has said that the nature of his wound 
makes future— um— service, thee calls it— makes this unlikely. 
Therefore allow me to relieve thee of responsibility for him." 

George won. Ranting thousands of relatives of the volunteers 
were making an already hard life hell for Washington, but George^s 
method of using pull was neater because it was unhysterical; 
Quaker-like, it gave where it would receive, and made calmness a 
sword which cut red tape where bluster would have failed. The 
wounded and sick were coming north on tourist railroad cars, he 
said, and went sometimes eight days without a change of their 
dressings. To relieve this the City of Philadelphia and the Uni- 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 219 

versity Hospital had supplied and manned a real hospital train; 
George purposed to underwrite another of a hundred beds, person- 
ally if necessary, to make the way easier for homeward bound 
cripples. The colonel of the Surgeon-General's Department re- 
fused the train, but the ojffer impressed him— if a little pink rabbit 
like Mr. Hawkins, who certainly was no Carnegie or Vanderbilt, 
was willing to go into hock, and not just for his lad alone- 
well ... 

The medical authorities at Siboney got word to expedite passage 
on sick furlough of Caleb P. Hawkins, trooper. First Volunteer 
Cavalry, and Washington notified the father that his son would 
be consigned to his charge until mustered out. George also was 
told that Caleb would sail on the Saratoga arriving in Tampa the 
sixth of August, which was a trifling stumble among the fat boots 
made in the conduct of the war. Caleb, aboard the Yucatan, ar- 
rived in Tampa a week before his father. 

(Extracts from a dispatch by Warren Spangler, his last, to the 
Philadelphia Public Ledger.) 

Kingston, JamBica, B.W.I., August 2— Santiago de Cuba, newest 
metiopolis of the American Empiie, no doubt will take the palm 
for being the dirtiest, despite the keenest competition horn the 
mainland. It has maintained its slovenly reputation even among 
the seamiest cities of this island. Whoever the American governor 
may be, he will have his talents as administrator and whitewing 
tested to the utmost by streets never more than thirty ieet wide, 
which are festering cesspools. Mango skins, ashes, bones— some- 
times human— garbage, rags, dung, and Eies are everywhere. Night 
walkers risk ialling into pits oi such corruption on the unlighted 
calles— this is a great heritage oi centuries oi Spanish rule. 

Everywhere, too, are puny children with gas-bloated bellies, 
scabrous cripples, and the aged— except for the Spanish garrison 
there seem to be iew people oi vigorous years among the thousands 
whom the army and Red Cross now are ieeding. Miss Bartons ship 
was the Erst American vessel to enter the harbor after the city's iall; 
the notes oi the Doxology froze in her nurses' throats when they 
saw the creatures who were waiting on the pier. . . . Hunger is 



220 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

hi more immoial than any private vice. One's blood congeals to 
see a mob oi children claw one another in utter silence to he first 
in a soup line. 

Even the garrison troops fought like curs over hardtacks our men 
threw to them; they say they had been forced to plunder in the 
city by night for food which the merchants withheld except at mer- 
ciless prices. Our soldiers, however, are generous with their rations, 
which have increased in regularity since the port was captured; 
certainly a button from the uniform of a Spaniard, especially of 
one who fought with Batalon Constitucion at Caney, will make 
any American deprive himself of a days grub. . . . 

The sickness which broke out among the refugees who jammed 
into Caney rages here now. They brought epidemic disease back 
home with them to their vile alleys; a few months ago a city with 
fortyEve thousand people, Santiago now counts thirty thousand, 
we axe told. The dying fall too fast for the ordinary undertaking 
services, so they are being buried by their own families or are being 
piled in stacks, drenched with coal oil, and burned. At all hours 
throughout the ugly, yellow-walled streets one hears weeping. 

The Anglo-American Club has reopened to accommodate 
American military and civil officials, since there is no hotel. In con- 
trast to the stricken spirit of the city, there is music and social 
conversation at the club, not in any mood of which our gallant 
Captain Philip would have to say, ''Don't cheer, boys, the poor 
devils are dyingr but in simple hope of respite. The mind reels on 
unmitigated horror. Men who have tales to tell of the Egyptian 
Sudan, of the Argentine pampas, or of the Klondike, gather here 
to pool and eat their beans and other camp foods to the plashing 
of the fountain in the patio. The music they have is their own 
voices; when they sing ''On the Banks of the Wabash" the weeping 
of the women in the streets fades out, although everyone Jcriows it 
still is there. 

Personal: have arranged passage on a British boat leaving here for 
Key West tomorrow. Probably will arrive in Philadelphia about 
Monday next. Please notify my parents and Miss Susan Brecht, 
address of latter Orthodox near Penn, Frankford. Question for Mr. 
Davis: what stream is there anywhere which a man may sit by that 
won't have memories aRoat on it? 



(2^^^^rS(Li^-^^e^(Li^^>«^(Li^^^^^(Li^>^^<'^CLi^^^ 



PART IV 



Fall: Tampa and Philadelphia 



Most of the soldiers have leit us. . . . We 
hear no more abuse of our climate . . . and 
our henroosts can go unlocked at night. 
Come to Port Tampa to live! 

—Editorial in the Busy South, 
Port Tampa, Florida, 1898. 
li the day ever comes when logic will per- 
suade as easily as it preaches and proves^ the 
face oi the earth will he altered^ and Phila- 
delphia may change with the changing world. 
—Agnes Repplier, 1898. 



XXV 



"I never thought to see the day when kin of mine would spoil to 
bring a bluecoat to stay under my roof!" 

Colonel Evers pounded the newel post, but he hesitated on the 
lowest step instead of marching upstairs. His womenfolk had on 
their cold-fish expressions, so he thought he had better have the 
matter out with them now. Otherwise he was sure they would find 
ways of bushwhacking him for weeks. 

"I beg your pardons for raising my voice," he said. "However, 
may I remind you that we do not know this young man, despite 
your faith that he is a gentleman, Rowena. Fm particularly sur- 
prised at you, Genevieve, taking so much for granted." 

"Indeed?" said Mrs. Evers. "Well, let me tell you Fve got intui- 
tions about things, and don't go a-blunting them with whisky or 
go running off to an old tower when young men seem interested 
in my daughter well enough to come calling, as this one did when 
he was here before, but-a you wouldn't " 

"I was aware this Hawkins had called, I think," the colonel said, 
"if I have him placed correctly among the crush of strangers that 
have visited us during the past few months. However, the question 
of inviting him to— ah— recuperate here is another matter. What 
scheme have you in mind, Rowena?" 

"Scheme, suh? I resent the word!" 

Her father laughed shortly, turning to his wife. "Genevieve, I 



224 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

appeal to your reason: be cautious about a man with fever. For 
all that's marked on his tag, it could be yellow fever. If you two 
pant to succor the wounded, by all means continue your good 
works down at the hospital, but don't turn this house into one by 
bringing home some strange rascal to '' 

"Papa, suppose Mistuh Hawkins was a Virginian. What then?" 

"I fail to see the pertinence of " 

'Tou hush, Speer, and let Rowena finish!" 

**Well, do-God!" said the colonel. ''Look who's sensitive about 
letting anybody finish a sentence around this place!" 

Rowena hastened to make her point before the shocked Gene- 
vieve should forget the topic at issue and give her husband hark- 
from-the-tomb. 

''Mistuh Hawkins wears the same-identical uniform many a 
southern gentleman is a-wearing, including our own General 
Wheeler under whom he fought. So there!" 

She nodded sharply, and her father found her pinkened face 
perplexing, for Rowena fussed so seldom. Now, if it were just his 
wife snapping, that would be ordinary, but to have both females 
baying was uncomfortable. 

He surrendered. "Very well, bring your Yankee home. Anything 
for peace in the family, with or without honor!" With which he 
turned and climbed to his tower for its solaces of sour mash and 
memories of Robert E. Lee. 

Thus the way was prepared for Caleb to spend only a few hours 
in a Tampa military hospital after his ship docked. The hospital 
commandant found no reason to hold him when his orders read 
sick furlough, and when the two ladies who were interested in the 
soldier were known to him. The commandant complimented them 
for their humanity and was gratified to release a cot in his crowded 
wards by pleasing local women. Rowena sent a wire to Philadelphia 
to tell Caleb's family he had arrived, and her mother bossed the 
orderlies who loaded him into an ambulance. 

For Caleb's part, he was satisfied too. Any man who has been in 
an army hospital is glad to exchange the best of that cold care 
for a whiff of the Outside, and Caleb's care had not been the best. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 225 

'To think that we should meet again under these pathetic con- 
ditions, poor boy!" Rowena said, fluffing a bolster under his 
shoulders. ''Hitch! There! You never wrote to me, you faithless 
man—I bet you forgot me." 

Caleb hummed: 

Says she, 'Young man, you're nothing hut a kid,' 
Says she, 'You'll remember meJ And, h'God, I did! 

"Whaf s that?" 

"Cowboy song I learned. You just put me in mind of it. Look, 
darling, I always meant to write but couldn't find time or paper or 
something." 

"You promised on your honor." 

"How could I forget you, considering?" 

"Oh, our last meeting? That? Pooh, pooh, pooh, pooh!" 

She teased his lips lightly with her own, then puttered with de- 
tails of the guest room, tossing him fond glances over her shoulder 
which did not entirely entrance him. For a fleet moment Caleb 
saw himself as a doll-baby who for a few adorable days would be 
huggable, rockable, and perhaps even diaperable, but his bones 
ached too much for him to shudder. Second thought made doll- 
babyhood seem half attractive; an army wardmaster with squirting- 
tobacco leaking down his stubble never cuddled his patients, hunks 
of tainted meat that they were. 

"If you had kept in touch, at least when you knew you were 
coming back to Tampa"— in Rowena's mouth the town always was 
Tay'm-pa--"well, it wouldn't have been just accident that we saw 
you when we were helping men off that awful boat." 

"Nobody ever had any writing paper down in Cuba," Caleb in- 
sisted. 

"Anyhow, I've got you here now. Aren't you glad?" 

"Yes indeed. Why have you?" 

"Dear boy. ..." 

She kissed him again. Standing in the doorway unnoticed, 
Colonel Evers saw the kiss, and it annoyed him; however, he knew 
Rowena was past the years when a father might have to fear that 



226 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

she did not know what she was doing. Once he had been as inno- 
cent as most male parents are, but the colonel now understood 
that even a man's own daughter is a woman, as Messalina, Joan of 
Arc, Frances Willard, and Little Egypt had been. As his wife 
Genevieve had been— no, no, was, according to her lights as all the 
rest are to theirs. 

Rowena, rising from her knees by the bed, saw him and said 
coolly, ''Come in. Papa. Caleb, the few times you were here before, 
you never saw much of my father, I expect." 

"How do you do, sir?" Caleb said in evening-dress tones, and 
made a representation of a bow. 

The formality reassured the old man somewhat; at least the 
young Yankee was not a squirt. 

The colonel bowed too. '1 manage, suh, I manage. How, may I 
ask, do you do?" 

"Fm coming along famously. Colonel." Caleb stared a moment 
at motes dancing in a lance of late sun which slashed through the 
curtains and then said, *1 can't thank you properly for your hospi- 
tality, sir. True southern hospitality is the phrase for your gracious- 
ness, I believe, but when there's so much 'hospital' emphasis on 
it, your kindness is especially affecting." 

The colonel murmured a disclaimer of virtue and clasped his 
hands behind his coattails. Caleb smiled, and the old man sud- 
denly realized that he was a rather good-looking lad, for a Yankee. 

"Nevertheless," the young man said, "you have taken me into 
your home as if I were your own son, and I shall not forget it." 

Colonel Evers had to rummage for words among the thoughts 
Caleb's voice had set tumbling. 

"We are— we are honored to show service to a gallant soldier, 
whoever's son he may be,— son." 

He rubbed his chin whiskers with an expression on his face as if 
he were listening to his ovm words, then bowed again and stalked 
from the darkening room. 

That evening the foolscap of Genl Lee and Otheis lay unre- 
garded under the colonel's hands after he had made several useless 
attempts to concentrate on it. . . . If Philip had lived, if only 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 227 

Philip had Hved, he would have made a fine soldier! He'd have 
been— do-God!— forty years old now, and a full colonel in truth, 
perhaps, as his daddy was by courtesy. And a father also? No doubt, 
no doubt, and his own father a granddaddy. Incredible! Incredible 
to think, too, that Philip would have begun to show gray hairs. 
The Yankee lad downstairs hadn't silvered; he had the curly brown 
hair the colonel remembered so well of a child in Richmond long 
ago. Might Philip have worn glasses? Possibly— young men's eyes 
didn't seem to be as strong as they were in the colonel's youth. 
Philip would have been taller than young Hawkins, since he would 
have favored his father, even though, so far as you could tell when 
Hawkins was helpless in bed, he seemed well set up. Good shoul- 
ders. Engaging smile. Philip had been able even at age seven to 
disarm and devastate with his smile! "As if I were your own son," 
Philip Hawkins had said. Oh, the lost one, the lost one, and all the 
dead, dry years! . . . 

Rowena was pleased but puzzled at the interest her father 
showed in Caleb during the next few days. Caleb enjoyed the at- 
tention of the master, too, and seemed to cotton to Papa as much 
as Papa had taken to him. They had personal experiences in war 
to talk about and obviously believed that their dialogues must be 
interesting to her, when they thought of her at all. Papa's war had 
been bigger and Caleb's was newer, so they respected each other; 
Papa set up the Chickahominy campaign with bricabrac on Caleb's 
counterpane, and at another time laughed like a natural fool when 
Caleb told of stalking General Wheeler. Imagine Papa laughing at 
a thing like that! Well, imagine Papa hughingl 

The old man took fruit to the convalescent, including mangoes 
from an Evers tree, expecting to delight Caleb, but his consterna- 
tion dissolved into new laughter when he heard why a soldier just 
back from Cuba turned green-sick at the sight of mangoes. 

Most startling of all Papa's doings was trading his description 
of the siege of Petersburg and the entrance of the Federals into 
Richmond for Caleb's account of the investment of Santiago. Not 
once had Rowena heard her father talk of that disaster; now sud- 



228 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

denly he seemed to find it merely a conversation piece to interest a 
fellow soldier. 

Genevieve kept tabs on her husband v^^en hour after hour 
passed without the usual flights to the tower. '1 do believe he has 
forgotten he needs his poison/' she whispered to her daughter, 
''unless he's being foxy and been pulling on a bottle downstairs 
somewheres, but I can't smell anything at arm's length, and-a — 
Lordamercy!— the man even shaves without having to be peti- 
tioned!" 

On the third day of Caleb's stay the old man said, 'Til despise 
seeing you leave, son. It's been a revelation to have a young man 
to talk to." 

''Believe me, sir," Caleb said, "I'm beginning to dislike the idea 
of leaving, myself. I've never eaten, slept, or chattered so pleasantly 
in my life." 

Rowena, overhearing, pinched herself to recall the bleakness with 
which her father had greeted the proposition of having a dam- 
yankee around the place. She contained comment, however, and 
smiled on them. A moment a later a bit of talk between the men 
lit up her bewilderment. 

"Satisfy my curiosity, Caleb," the colonel said, "-—what does the 
'P' of your name stand for?" 

"Parrish. My mother's maiden name." 

"How now! I thought it was for Philip. I was— strange, I was 
almost positive I'd heard or " 

Rowena glanced quickly at her father when his voice trailed off, 
and then she knew. 

Caleb pushed hard against his bed's headboard, unaware of his 
reincarnation. "Look!" he said. "I can move my legs enough now to 
get some real zingo out of a stretch! . . . Speaking of Philips, 
though, I knew one— my mother's father. He was a grand old boy. 
Died when I was little, but I remember his beard and his pickaback 
rides and the shadow pictures he threw on my bedroom wall when 
I had measles. He taught me to tell time then too. He was about 
your height. Colonel, and . . ." 

While Caleb talked Rowena watched her father, and tears came 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 229 

to her— he was happy Caleb had known a Phihp, even one who 
had been an old man, a Quaker, and a Yankee. He listened eagerly 
because the beloved name had been a beloved, which was 
enough. . . . 

In the hall, after they had left the sickroom, the colonel said to 
Rowena: 

"I wish we had put our friend in The Boy's room. It would have 
been airier than this one— when the windows were opened, of 
course." 

"It didn't occur to me to suggest it, Papa." 

''No, of course not. ... I wish he could stay longer than an- 
other week, or whatever it's going to be, but maybe moving him 
across the hall would be worth while anyhow— what do you think?" 

"Let's do. Papa!" 

"It's right nice, having a young fellow around the place. Howard 
Joe Bates— well, he wasn't young enough to make me think of him 
as— you know, a son— but more like a contemporary." 

"Yes, Papa. I often thought so too." 

After dinner Caleb began to feel queer. He felt brittle— if raised 
and dropped, he thought he might shatter like a goblet. 

The family had gathered in his room to hear the colonel read a 
section from his Memories, "The Mystery Revealed of the Disap- 
pearance of the Holograph Original of Genl. Lee's Farewell to 
the Army of Northern Virginia," a sacred v^iting which the 
colonel professed to have acquired— never mind how. Rowena and 
her mother were fascinated, for the old man had not consented to 
read any of his manuscript for years, let alone propose such a thing. 
Caleb lay back on his pillows pretending attention so as not to 
attract any, because it was embarrassing to feel shatterable. He 
tried to get his mind off himself by occupying it with a variety of 
thoughts while the colonel droned on, his rimless bifocals bobbing 
on the bulb of his nose. Now and then the old man would inter- 
rupt his reading to chuckle and stroke his goatee, saying, "A telling 
point, that," or, "Sound sense! Sound sense!" Then he would lean 
into the lamplight again and continue. . . . 



230 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

The coloneFs Morris chair and the lamp bespoke the goodness 
of home, Caleb thought. The lamp shade under which the 
colonel's face perspired and tiny bugs went crazy was octagonal, 
had grapes and leaves leaded into a red glass background, and its 
mantel burned with a hiss— probably from a hole in it. The red 
lamp recalled to Caleb a spring night during his college days, a 
night when a group of Epsilon brothers had lurked behind a hedge 
to hear what would happen to an upstate greenhorn they'd sent 
to a parsonage to ask for Kitty— or for Nance, if Kitty were already 
upstairs. 

"Oh, you'll know the place," they'd told their country brother 
who had confessed to an itch of sorts. ''Their trademark's a red 
glass lamp on a table by the front window. Don't let the madam 
fool you— she lets on at first like the girls actually are her own kid- 
dies." 

Caleb smiled weakly, remembering. Well, most houses every- 
where had red or green glass lamps, and the Everses' was no excep- 
tion. Because people were custom-bound, even absurdities were 
proper if they were traditional. The Evers house had steep gables 
to shed Florida's snows, for example, and the portico was "fraught 
with columns" which held up nothing in particular, because any 
other look about a house wouldn't make it seem like Home to 
them. Evidences of Rowena's applique were everywhere on the 
heaps of cushions; some woman in every American family special- 
ized in dust traps of which the household was proud: burnt-leather 
work, cigar-band mosaics, or passe partouts "hung low about the 
walls with charming artistic irregularity," as the stylemongers put 
it. There almost always was a whatnot above a corner seat, from 
which an unwary head might knock Uncle Waldo's collection of 
garnets and spars or Cousin Hermione's souvenirs of the Colum- 
bian Exposition. The oak paneling downstairs undoubtedly was 
dadoed; probably the piano had its tasseled throw; the dining room 
should have a plate rail and a still life of a fish and a bowl of fruit; 
and because they were so pretty, the screens on the parlor windows 
probably were painted with Venetian canal scenes or Fujiyama. 
And since the genteel tradition called for trophies of field and 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 231 

stream, there would be a stuffed, varnished fish— tarpon down here 
—a moth-eaten puma head, and Enghsh sporting prints in the H- 
brary as surely as the Complete Waverley Novels in calf. In this 
room, Caleb saw, were the ''Weaker Sex" cartoons of Charles Dana 
Gibson, passe-partouted, of course, while in the hallway facing 
him hung Custer's Last Fight by O. Becker out of Budweiser. 

Caleb's head throbbed, but he gritted his teeth and determined 
to outthink the oncoming attack of fever. One couldn't, he knew, 
but one could try. . . . Bless the old colonel! He usually wasn't 
this dull-— ordinarily he talked free of parables and homilies, which 
was refreshing in a man of his years. Now if this were home, Caleb 
felt, his father's grave attentions would become unbearable, and 
to his mother his wound would be a reproach to her pacific up- 
bringing and a source of tears for her failure. They meant well, but 
—God, to have to lie helpless and have them suffer over him! 

His ears began to roar like surf, and he felt suddenly lightheaded. 
The colonel's sonorous reading broke through the surf like one of 
those Cuban drums—bongo.^ tumbador.^— anyhow, the kind Horace 
had gotten hold of and tried to rumbumbumble. The surf was hot; 
the red lamp heated it. Now a green lamp might be . . . 

"Are you feeling puny, son?" 

The colonel put aside his manuscript and peered over his spec- 
tacles. The two women rose tentatively from their rockers. 

Caleb gave them a glazed smile. "A green lamp might make a 
cooler drum," he said. Then he closed his eyes, feeling that no one 
could have been plainer than he. 

"What was that about a cool drum?" 

"Lordamercy, his forehead is burning up!" 

"Rowena, go fetch some fresh water!" 

They sat with Caleb while he tossed and mumbled, wiping his 
face with cloths wrung out in cold water, and when he clawed at 
the sheets they held his hands. He bruised their fingers in his 
delirious strength, but that was not why Genevieve burst into 
tears and, with remarkable docility, obeyed her husband's com- 
mand to go to bed. 

"The fire! The fire!" the sick man had cried. "Can't anyone 
feel it? There's fire in here, a sea of fire!" 



232 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

His mutterings about Indians, country mice, gloves, and what 
all had meant nothing to Genevieve, and a hoarse shout about 
General Lee in a low-cut opera gown overshot Rowena, but fire 
recalled Richmond, and the panic scream of it broke Genevieve. 

Rowena went to her room, too, when her father suggested it, 
to catch sleep for a tour of duty later if he should call. She had 
undressed and lain down to rest, if not to sleep— that being un- 
likely—and when she felt a touch on her shoulder she said: 

"Fm awake." 

"Come," her father whispered. "He needs help." 

"What time Oh dear, how can that be? It's three! How is 

he?" 

"'Cold. The fever's gone, and he's cold now." 

"Oh dear!" 

"I don't know what to do." 

The skin of the sick man felt clammy under Rowena's palm, and 
as she vdthdrew her hand he shivered in a convulsion which 
squeaked the springs. She smoothed his pillow and covers, biting 
her lip— what useless putterings, she thought, but what was there 
to do? 

The colonel said, "I put a blanket on, but it doesn't warm him." 
In the shadows the old man's cheeks were sunken like those of the 
invalid, and his voice sounded pettish. It had a tautness, too, a 
veiled urgency Rowena felt but did not understand. 

"Papa, he's shaking so!" 

"Yes, yes, I said the blanket does no good!" 

"But how can he be cold in this weather?" 

"It's the trick of the fever. I hate to just stand and watch!" 

The sick man said something senseless, trembled, and the bed- 
springs chattered again. The clicking of his teeth set the watchers' 
on edge; the colonel swore under his breath and tugged at his 
beard; Rowena shuddered in sympathy, drawing her night robe 
closer about herself. 

"I can't bear this. Papa, and I won't." 

Over the red lamp they passed a question unspeaking, and when 
the colonel did speak, his voice rasped. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 233 

"I know. Why do you suppose I~ " He stopped, embarrassed 
to think she might need an explanation, although he thought he 
had read a clear understanding in her eyes over the lamp. 

"I know too, suh," she said. 

To cover his confusion he became brisk. ''Well, try! Try, then! 
Get in with him!" 

'Tou're sure?" 

"Damn, yes! You won't be a woman— you'll be a stove, a medi- 
cine! But let me leave first. I " 

'Tm not embarrassed, Papa." 

"Well, I am! No, Fm not, but " 

"He'll never know, tonight. Oh— will Mother?" 

"Fll stand watch." 

"But he'll know soon. . . ." 

"Hey?" 

"I'm going to marry him, Papa." 

"You're going-oh! Well, well!" 

"He doesn't know that yet, either, but this v^all help." 

The colonel hesitated, then went to the door, whispering over 
his shoulder, "Tell me how it works." 

He heard the bedsprings and then an answering whisper. 

"It's going to work, Papa." 

The colonel closed the door. 

There were straight-backed chairs at intervals along the length 
of the hallway, and the old man tilted back in one against the wall 
beside the guest-room door. 

"Damned blasted chairs!" muttered the colonel, folding his arms. 
"Built for silly women to buy— not for human buttocks to sit in!" 

He calmed himself by staring down into the shadows of the 
hall. A mouse scratched somewhere within the wall back of his 
head, but the rest was silence until he himself chuckled abruptly. 

"True southern hospitality!" Colonel Evers said aloud, and then 
chuckled again. 

George Fox Hawkins went back to Philadelphia after a short but 
meaty visit with his son in Tampa, and told his wife he was con- 



234 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

tented that Caleb would not be coming North until after he should 
be married and more fully recovered from his wound. 

''Naturally his decision was a surprise for me," George said, "and 
I might have preferred him to have chosen a Philadelphia girl, but 
I quickly saw that I could not dissuade him." 

Mr. Hawkins sighed. "Why has it always been, Lydia, that our 
son cherishes an opinion the hotter for our opposition? Ah well— 
his very determination to marry Miss Evers may be all for the best. 
Her father argued, too, that the climate would benefit his health, 
which I believe. Caleb was recovering from a severe attack of 
malarial fever when I arrived, but I understood from Mr. Evers 
that Miss Evers nursed him through it as no professional would 
have." 

"Doesn't thee mean Mrs. Bates, George?" 

"She said she wanted to be called Miss Evers again for the inter- 
val between now and their marriage, just to please Caleb." 

"But she was married?" 

"Yes, Lydia, but her husband died." 

"Ah." 

"Did thee think she had been divorced? I have already told thee 
that, for all its military cast, her family is not the kind to tolerate 
such immorality. Do endeavor to concentrate when I tell thee 
things, Lydia!" 

"This matter has been very perplexing, George. Forgive me." 

Mr. Hawkins frowned, pursed his lips, and studied the rug. 
"True, true. I am not clear myself who first introduced our son to 
these Everses, nor why he did not tell us about her, and when 
Miss Evers made remark of the pure, sweet flame between them, 
Caleb threw back his head and laughed." 

"He did?" 

"Yes, and he said, 'God knows she's right enough. Father,' which 
was odd of him, I thought." 

"I am glad he chose a delicate lady, George. I should say, a lady 
of delicacy, since thee says she is wholesomely healthy." 

Mr. Hawkins agreed, adding that he was relieved also that there 
had been no more contention about a legal career. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 235 

''Mr. Evers's orange farm interests the boy, and since he has 
engaged to invest his own money in it, I feel he has settled down 
at last. As partners, they expect to increase acreage without dupli- 
cating either equipment or caretaking labor." 

''Do orange farmers prosper, George?" 

"I shall inquire, Lydia. At any rate, it will occupy Caleb. I fear 
that only such an enterprise is likely to retain his interest, because 
I judge that the sun, the soil, and the Negroes do all the hard 
work." 

Lydia patted her white cap with a hand that trembled. "I only 
wish he could raise oranges nearer to Philadelphia," she said. 

"They will visit us every summer, and when Caleb is able to 
travel they will make a delayed honeymoon trip here this fall for 
the symphony concerts and for the New York theaters." 

"Dear, dear— concerts and playgoing!" 

"It is not for us to judge his errors, Lydia." 

"No, George. ... Someday I should like to see Florida myself, 
if thee doesn't mind." 

"We shall." Mr. Hawkins raised a tumbler in which he had put 
torn scraps of paper to soak, and looked into it. 

"I must speak to Shoemaker tomorrow about this," he said. "The 
fecklessness of throwing away a full half-dozen misdirected enve- 
lopes without removing the uncanceled stamps!" 

"Thy nephew should be more saving." 

"Well, at least he works hard in the shops and shows a com- 
mendable disregard of soiling his hands when he must— as our 
Caleb never did." 

"He will make thee a good manager someday, George." 

"Yes, providing that he empties his mind of nonsense about 
building gasoline buggies— ever since he heard that the Studebaker 
people are wasting their time with the contraptions, he has been 
difficult to control." 

"He will learn, George." 

"So I have told him. One must look with caution toward the 
broader aspects of such dangerous dabbling, I have said. It is easy 
for anyone to see that horseless carriages are impractical, which 



236 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

Shoemaker hotly denies, but even he must reluctantly agree that 
there is no leisure class in this country, as there is in Europe, to 
enjoy the machines the year around." 

"He is young; he will heed thee in time, George." 

'Terhaps. Caleb never has." 

''Do not blame yourself, George. Thee has been a good man and 
father." 

"For the life of me, I cannot understand why Caleb never lis- 
tened! Young men today are so— so contentious with their elders. 
I tremble for the world they'd build, indeed I do!" 



XXVI 



During his absence, Warren learned, Susan had cropped through 
Chambers's Encyclopedia to DION-FRIC and was richer for parts 
of A-BEA, BEA-CATA, and CATA-DION; but if she still was 
keen for self-improvement, she wasn't so touchy about being ribbed 
up on her passion. 

"You inspire me," he said. "I think I shall try something grand 
myself— maybe grow a mustache." 

She laughed. "Do that. Your mind deserves a rest." 

My, it was good to see her! After reporting to his ofEce and draw- 
ing banked pay, Warren had splurged on a cab to Frankford, ar- 
riving in time to prevent Susan from returning to the Arsenal after 
lunch. 

"Don't worry about working no more today," Gus Kelley said 
to her. "I'll square it with Dungan. For two pins I'll knock off 
meself and get the inside stuff on Cuba." 

Ma Brecht hustled him out of the house. "August Kelley," she 
said, "you'd be as welcome in the pallor this afternoon as a case of 
dip-theria. Now, skiddoo!" 

The change apparent in his sweetheart was a slight loss of weight 
from long working hours, Warren saw, but he had not been with 
her ten minutes before he sensed other, subtler ones. There was 
the dry laugh with which she had dismissed his joshing about 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 237 

studying an encyclopedia, and there was the frank way she looked 
him straight in the eye. She*d hugged and kissed him on her own 
account when he had arrived, too, without concern for the sour 
view taken of such unseemly displays by boiler-plate authorities 
in the etiquette columns. . . . Now could it be, he thought, that 
Susie had grown securer within herself by reading A-BEA through 
CATA-DION, or had she been able to search her heart for the 
honesty and innocence she used to be ashamed of? 

When they sat together alone they spurted talk about the pica- 
yune subjects which come most readily to the tongues of two peo- 
ple needing time to refind each other. Warren told of Casey^s 
"'conversations" with Jorge Astilloso, and then he listened with a 
devotion unwarranted by the subject when Susan told him about a 
motion-picture show she had seen at the Bijou. They talked also 
about Stephen Crane, of Donohue's no-hit, no-run game against 
Boston, of mutual friends who were vacationing at Eagle's Mere, 
and of the likelihood that there would be a Nicarauguan canal. 
When neither could find further excuse for prolonging their half- 
shy idiocies, Warren reached for Susan, kissed her silent, and fell 
quiet himself. While they sat enwrapped on the sofa, dreaming 
comfortably, Peteykins trilled arpeggios from the kitchen because 
Ma Brecht was running the tap; both sounds were ineffably 
ordinary, Warren thought, but they were assurances of haven. 
There was a smell from the kitchen, too, of the morning's baking, 
of fresh fruit pies set out to cool, and Warren thought how utterly 
impossible it was for him to have been in Cuba only a week before. 

Susan moved in his arms. "Isn't it too warm to sit close?" 

"Good old muggy Philly weather!" 

She snuggled again, saying, "Happy?" 

"Oh, joy!" 

"I am too—very." 

"I missed this— and you— I missed you like the dickens," he said. 
"I don't want to leave you again. At 1-least, not without knowing 
y-you will be waiting for me." 

"I was waiting." 

"Not as my wife." 



238 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

"I might as well have been." 

"It's not the same." 

''No. . . . Oh, Warren, I dreaded you'd be killed, or even— that 
Yd never see you again." 

"I didn't hunt danger." 

''Did you always run from it?" 

"Whenever I got the chance, hon." 

"Fll bet." For a time she remained quiet, and he filled the inter- 
val by smelling her hair. Then she said, "Warren, separation is 
terrible, but it did one good thing for me. I had time to think— 
oh, about everything." 

"Sounds comprehensive enough, Susie." 

"Shut up! I want to say something. Would you know what I 
meant if I said that I began to understand me-myself a lot better 
because I had you to worry about?" 

"Ummm, maybe." 

"Perhaps he'll be a hero and never come back, I used to think, 
and the thought frightened me cold. Yet I know there was a time 
when ideas like that were drippy mooning which— well, I guess I 
enjoyed the horrible things without knowing I did. I'm ashamed to 
admit it, but I must." 

"Susie " 

"Let me finish, dear. Or I'd say, 'Perhaps something about me 
makes him ashamed of me now, down at bottom,' and I began to 
think what they were. The foolish, stupid poses that used to make 
you put on That Look, remember? And while I was thinking 
about them I was thinking like I was outside myself somehow, 
and " 

Warren's eyes were stars, but he felt too good to give her a 
throaty answer. Instead he interrupted to say: 

" 'Like' ain't a conjunction, honey, and you need the p-past 
subjunctive in that sentence, that wonderful sentence." 

She gave him a straight look and a smile. 

"Thank you. Professor, and twentythree for you! I was almost 
finished anyhow, except to say that I knew I loved you and made 
up my mind to tell you without having to be coaxed." 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 239 

She held his eyes when she said it, too, and held for an instant 
more until she couldn't stand the heat. 

Ma Brecht came in then to interrupt a robust clinch and dratted 
herself for not peeping like a gentlewoman before busting in. 

"The pallor," she said by way of apology, "ain't generally the 
mush room by day. Excuse me." 

Warren swelled with foolish energy. He roared with laughter 
and raised Margaret two feet off the floor to kiss her. 

"The parlor's m-more than a m-mush room, Ma! It's bewitched 
—it's tumed your gentleman caller into a son-in-law, p-p-presto!" 

"Land!" 

Susan said, "Don't be taken in. Ma. He's taking a lot for granted. 
He hasn't asked me in so many words yet." 

"How did I miss? S-Susie, I— we " 

"Will you marry me, Warren?" 

"Well, I'll be d-d-d " 

"Will you, please?" 

"You bet I will, b-but let me b-buy the license or something, 
will you? . . . Ma, she's shameless!" 

"Lord!" Margaret said, and tossed her apron over her head to 
weep ecstatically. 

"Aw, cheer up, Ma," Warren said. "It's just another maniage. 
It'll only 1-last a lifetime." 

They decided they would need a few weeks to prepare the ac- 
cessories to their wedding, like the furniture and Warren's relatives, 
and the bemused fellow was grateful for the way Susan remem- 
bered amenities and tackled the practicalities he overlooked. It was 
she who suggested a late fall date when she heard that Warren's 
uncle Charley and his wife were coming East from California for 
their first visit in years. Meanwhile, Susan said, they could plan 
and save toward household goods, and she and Ma could do some 
sewing. In fact, Susan insisted, it was all wellangood to be impa- 
tient and fiery about getting married, but there wasn't too much 
time to turn around in, even though she quit at the Arsenal. A 
person had to scour central Philadelphia for a likely house, and 



240 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

gather together a kind of trousseau, and what all. The complexities 
dazed Warren; he had thought that people who agreed to marry 
just upped and married, boom! 

They visited Lancaster, and Susan was enchanted with the old 
town and by Warren's family. The Spangler clan came to meet the 
new candidate for their name on her first Sunday there. Aunt Clay 
brought a pie; Elizabeth and Our Frieda— ''Our" because her 
mother had been Frieda first— brought their husbands and kids; 
James Spangler came down from Reading with the Spangler ap- 
petite and a kiss for the bride-to-be. The horde of Warren's nieces 
and nephews ate in the kitchen with fair amicability, shepherded 
by the oldest among them; the grownups dined at the old family 
table with an extra leaf in it, and praised the cooking and War- 
ren's young lady impartially. After dinner the kids climbed trees 
and dirtied their Sunday best in the big back yard, while neighbors 
dropped by to have a look at the goods young Stretch had found in 
Philadelphia. There were Hammons, Rohrers, Witmers, Bosticks, 
Eckenrodes, and a Smigelski and two O'Reillys who also said, 
''Ach, so?" 

Some were reticent with Susan, but others offered comments 
that rocked her; in one afternoon she learned that a Pennsylvania 
Dutch family's heindschait was privileged to sit and stare if they 
liked, or to be blunt if they were so moved. A man with a name 
she caught as Morningstar and which later proved to have been 
Morningstar told her he did not cotton to Philadelphy but that 
he had to admit he liked her, no never mind. Susan thanked him. 
And an old lady with dewlaps and an ear trumpet said, after in- 
specting her at arm's length, ''The hips wider should be— you'll 
trouble have when the children come." Susan shouted confiden- 
tially that the first might make the going easier for the rest, maybe? 

When the neighbors had gone some of the family played cards 
—with a geigel deck, of course, because of the holy Sabbath- 
while the rest sat in the viny shade of the side porch to watch the 
sun go down. Warren's mother, Frieda, with a very young and 
sleeping grandchild on her lap, looked at Susan with an eye which 
was tender and reminiscent. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 241 

'Tou passed with honors, Susan/' Frieda said. "I didn't come 
off nearly so proudly when I was inspected in this same house 
thirtyseven years ago." 

Her husband laughed softly. "Outlander that she was! Imagine, 
daring to mention New England boiled dinners over our seven 
sweets and seven sours!" 

Frieda sniffed. ''Foreigners like you and me, Susan, set these 
Dutch a-jingle." 

''But, Mrs. Spangler, I'm no foreigner. I'm not even from New 
England!" 

The grayed woman with the young face patted her hand. "We 
know all that, dear, and so does Noah Webster, but let it stay our 
secret." 

Frank Spangler threw back his head to laugh. Susan beamed 
on him; she had liked him instantly— he was big and friendly and 
—oh!— comfortable. The omen was good, she thought, for she saw 
her Warren in his father quite a bit, thank goodness. 

" 'Raus, young fellow," Frank told the child on his knee. "Your 
mother and poppa want to take you home. . . . Don't hark to my 
wife, Susan. We Dutch aren't so terrible— just reserved, and jealous 
of it." 

Good-bys and sleepy frets went up when the Spangler daughters 
gathered their broods and the men shook hands; their carriages 
rolled out of sight downstreet under the elms and oaks, and War- 
ren listened until the last whisper of wheels had died. That sound, 
and the flitting strakes of sun through the leaves, was as somnolent 
as the summer Sunday itself, and as nostalgic as the book you 
might find in the attic which you'd loved as a boy. He drew a deep 
breath of the freshening air, and there was honeysuckle and sweet 
William on it. Jungle stenches and Caney seemed so much farther 
away than a month and twelve hundred miles. 

"I keep forgetting— this," he said, gesturing widely. 

"You don't need to," said his father. 

Warren said, "That's starting an old subject. Dad." 

"What old subject?" Susan asked. Father and son were smiling 



242 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

at each other, but behind the affection something crouched, she 
thought. 

Frieda explained. "Oh, it's the dreary, famihar tale of a man 
who can't understand why his boy doesn't jump at the chance to 
share his business— a hotel, in our case. These two bullheads can't 
—well, like father, like you'11-discover-for-yourself." 

''How do you feel about it?" Susan said. 

"I'm glad you asked me— they never do! Well, it would be good 
to have Stretch nearer home, but on the other hand he's entitled 
to break the eggs for his own omelets." 

"You can see why we keep her out of discussions," Frank told 
Susan. "She argues both ends against the middle. Her father 
warned me she was troublesome, but I was twenty then and knew 
what I knew, oh yes!" 

He dodged. The glider cushion ruffled his thick hair in its flight. 

"Shush!" his wife said placidly, resettling in the swing. "What 
kind of impression do you want to give her of our married life?" 

"Or of the continental dignity of the Spanglers," Warren added. 
"Wazzamat, Pop? You used to duck faster than that?" 

"He's still fast," Frieda said, "but I've learned to outcute him." 

"She means she throws to hit me where I ain't," Frank said 
proudly. 

They laughed at Susan's look of polite uncertainty and fell into 
an easy silence again while they watched the west. The sunset was 
trying to outdo itself along the lower bands of the spectrum; if 
one's taste favored indigos over pinks and oranges, it succeeded. 

Warren's older brother, who had been smoking peacefully, 
caught a signal from his father and cleared his throat. 

"Guess who I saw yesterday. Mose Hoffman," James began, and 
paused when he realized that no one cared much. James was not a 
crafty conspirator. "Eh— well— Mose said he was going to get rid 
of that newspaper of his up at Columbia." 

"Now is that so?" Frank said. "Did you hear. Stretch?" 

"Uh-huh." 

"I thought I'd mention it, because— well, because," James said, 
and blew a smoke ring. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 243 

''Just for ducks, how much will Mose want?" Frank asked. 

"He didn't say, but from his impatience I'd judge he'd be reason- 
able—for Mose— on prices and terms. The editor he has running 
the Gazette is a rumdum, and Mose is no newspaperman— just a 
farmer with a bull by the tail, he says. He thinks a fellow like 
Str— uh— a fellow with experience and shove could take over the 
paper, delinquent accounts and all, and make it hum." 

"Sure sounds like a ripe opportunity for somebody," Frank said, 
pursing his lips. 

"Dad, Jim, drop the kidding," Warren said. "You two are as 
subtle as nickel whisky. YouVe been cooking up something. 
What?" 

Frank protested briefly, then laughed. "All right, we did. We 
thought, since you were talking of a little newspaper of your own 
someday, here was the chance." 

"Gee, Dad, that's a grand idea, but " 

"We can fix everj'thing. Hoffman will be glad to take a mortgage 
against a share of the hotel for security. We'll specify that Jim will 
have " 

"W-wait a minute! The American House is yours!" 

"You and Jim v^ll own it someday. I'll just split with you in 
advance," Frank said. "I've told that to Hoffman and, except for 
drawing up the papers, it's agreed. The final word is yours." 

Warren choked. "Oh, Dad, gosh— that's I'm speechless! But 

look, Dad, I " 

"If you're not interested in the hotel itself, I don't see why we 
can't let the hotel help you." 

"But I don't want the Gazetter 

Warren sounded harsh, but there was an excuse for him; he was 
afraid that if he should not put force into his words he might weep 
getting them out. 

"But you always said you wanted your own paper, Stretch," his 
mother said. "Yes, I was in on this too." 

"Listen, folks," Warren began, "nearly every reporter talks of 
having his own paper someday, but I've decided I'm not ready, 
if I'll ever be." 



244 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

His stutter got lost, for he talked as if to himself. The seine of 
language was hard to handle when you were fishing for words to 
explain motives you only half understood yourself. 

"I don't want a piece of property that has my name blocked on 
the window," he said slowly. *'I want my paper, if I ever eam one, 
to be a living part of me." 

James said, "What bunk " but their father silenced him with 

a raised finger as Warren began to pace. 

"I guess I sound like the great bleeding heart of Lydia Pink- 
ham, but I don't give a damn!" 

"I do," said Frank, "and Fm listening." 

"Thanks, Dad." Warren rolled a leaf from the wisteria into a 
tight ball and studied it. "Fm not my own man yet. I don't think 
I've proved myself, and I do believe somehow that I'd be running 
from experience I need if I were to quit the Ledger so soon. For 
another thing, I still practice scales and finger exercises early in 
the mornings— I mean I haven't given up the hope of being a 
writer, if I can convince myself I have something to say and can 
say it." 

"I think that's fine," his mother said, with a challenging glance 
at the other men. "Don't you, Susan?" 

"Ralph Waldo Shakespeare," James said. 

Warren did not hear James nor see Susan nod, nor did he feel 
her eyes on him. 

"I also believe I need the rub and tangle with more and different 
people than there are in Columbia. A big city catches the wind of 
events quicker than a little town— you know how the tops of trees 
show a coming blow before the grass beneath. Like that." 

"Blow," said James, "is right." 

"Well, call it the quickening, the stir, or anything you like, but 
it's there. Few movements of any sort but Whisky Rebellions ever 
start in the country." 

"You shush, Jimmy," said their mother. 

"I wish I were triplets," Warren said. "One life isn't enough to 
cram in all I'd like to do or see. So— as long as I feel that way, how 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 245 

could I accept a business given to me for love, when I don't know 
if it's what I want, after all?" 

''That's honest enough/' his father said, but frowned with disap- 
pointment. 

. . . Besides, Warren thought, there were other reasons too 
formless and troublesome to talk about. . . . The skull-faced 
Cubans who seemed ready to fall through their clothes were night- 
mares he'd suddenly realized were familiar; you could see them any 
day you wanted to look, right in the city where you lived. In peace, 
suffering was everywhere, but nobody looked; a war merely drama- 
tized suffering and uselessness — it was an emotional jag whose only 
virtue was that it taught a lot of people that there was satisfaction 
in banding together to get an injustice licked. 

There might be something he could do, sometime, somewhere. 
. . . Jimmy would say to this, if Warren dared speak it aloud, 'If 
Christ Himself couldn't wipe out inhumanities, who the hell do 
you think you are?" 

Jimmy would be right, too, but only practically right. The cer- 
tainty of defeat was not the important failure, Warren thought, 
but indifference and avoidance surely were. A man had to live with 
his own heart and answer to it. If only its call were clearer! . . . 

His brother said, "What you need is a good worming." 

Warren grinned. "All right, but I've got to worm myself." 

"Well," said their father, "that's that." 

Frieda said, "Yes, that's that, but I think you're closer to being 
'your own man' than you know. Go ahead. Don't let anybody ar- 
range things for you!" 

Warren took Susan's hand. "How about it, hon?" 

She looked up at him, and he felt as though he had been kissed. 

"I'll never be settled about myself, either, Warren," she said. 
"We're a good pair. But I think you're a— you're " 

"A man," said his mother. "So do I." 

"You know," Susan said dreamily, "while you were talking about 
Columbia, I thought of something I read in CATA-DION." 

"Where?" Frank asked. 

"In Chambers's Encyclopedia— my finishing school." 



246 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

"Oh/' said Frank. 

"It's all right. Dad/' Warren said. "She forgets most of it." 

"I haven't forgotten that 'Columbia' is a form of the name 
Columbus, after Christopher C. He was looking for something too, 
like Warren." 

Frank pounced. "And he could find it in Lancaster County as 
well as any place!" 

"Maybe yes, maybe no," Susan said. "Some people have to knock 
around awhile. Columbus did and failed in the end, but he's hon- 
ored for failing, because he discovered something he didn't know 
existed, when he was hunting an entirely different thing. As a re- 
sult places he never saw are named after him." 

James laughed. "I should live to be known as the brother of the 
Spangleria explorer!" 

"Go ahead and laugh!" Susan said tartly. "Most of the fellas 
were like you in 1492 too! Most always are! But they never got 
Columbia, Pee- Ay, named after them!" 

The last trace of sunset violet had faded by then, and she was 
glad, because the laughing family could not see her blush on the 
dark porch. But, above all, Susan was proud. 



xxvii 



That "good medicine," the "God-ordained," "splendid little" 
war with Spain struck its tent while Warren and Susan were at 
Lancaster in August. The New England university president, the 
Philadelphia rabbi, and the candidate for governor of New York 
who so had described our waltz with destiny must have been grati- 
fied by the results. 

Despite the anxiety of the jingoes that hostilities might not last 
long enough to permit the grabbing of Porto Rico, they had. Men 
and mules got loaded aboard transports in time, the soldiers in 
steerage and the mules in second-class, since in steerage the mules 
would have died. However, the campaign featured more flower 
tossing than shooting, and was only slightly tarnished by the con- 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 247 

duct of one famous volunteer regiment, which looted clumsily 
and whose commander and several of his officers resigned sooner 
than take an efficiency test. 

An armistice halted fighting throughout all of Cuba, and, if 
the Cubans who had no voice in it were sullen, our late enemies 
were not. They gutted the place of everything movable, and one 
Pedro Lopez de Castillo wrote "most cordial and sincere good 
wishes and farewell" in the name of eleven thousand Spanish 
troops. He ended with a highbred admonition: 'Tou have con- 
quered [Cuba] by force and watered it with your blood, as your 
conscience called for . . . but the descendants of the Congos and 
the Guineas— these people are not able to exercise or enjoy their 
liberty, for they will find it a burden to comply with the laws that 
govern civilized humanity." Many of Senor Castillo's late foemen 
agreed about the Cubans, those ''mango-bellied degenerates." 

"In the words of Mr. Dooley," Warren said, "we're ready to 
hit the road with the White Man's Burden Tragedy Company and 
gather the necessary supernumeraries at the whistle stops from 
among the 'four hundherd millyon Topsies and six hundherd mil- 
lyon Uncle Toms/ " 

Gus Kelley was impressed, for if Mr. Dooley had said a thing, 
Gus knew it must be so. Rather meekly he showed Warren a 
forty-eight star flag he had bought in a fit of sidewalk chauvinism. 
"The street hawker was hollering, 'Get ahead of the push!' " Gus 
explained. " 'The old fortyfive star flags will be back numbers like 
Betsy Ross's!' Them three new stars is for Cuba, the Philippines, 
and Spain itself." 

Regiments in the Far East, whose names sounded improbable to 
old-timers of '61— like First Montana or 'Steenth Colorado—forced 
surrender on Manila and the authority of the new empire on every 
Filipino within rifleshot of the city. Outside it prowled barbarians 
led by a goup named Aguinaldo, who had a grievance. They had 
been led to believe that the war had been waged to help the cause 
of Philippine liberty and was not a swap of foreign masters. Mr. 
Dooley thought the islands indeed were a problem: "We can't 
sell thim, we can't ate thim, and we can't throw thim into th' alley 



248 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

whin no wan is lookin*. An* 'twud be a disthgrace f r t' lave before 
we've pounded these frindless an' ongrateful people into insinsi- 
bility." 

Smaller trophies of conquest were gathered in too. Another Wild 
West regiment, the Second Oregon, took Guam, and an uninspir- 
ing dot of land called Wake Island had been seized after a sharp 
contest with angry sea gulls. 

Hawaii was annexed after years of maidenly starts and murmurs 
on the part of Congress. However, since we were not at war with 
the Yankee planters who had deposed the native ruler, we gave a 
formal dinner in Honolulu to consummate the deal in pineapple. 
This correctness was calculated to draw the teeth of critics who 
were calling even the war with Spain "spread-eagleism." The 
grumbling minority, of course, was ignorant of how finely history 
grinds, but Henry Cabot Lodge was not. He knew that '\ . . for 
the unfit among nations there is no pity in the relentless world 
forces which shape the destinies of mankind." 

Senator Lodge's bosom chum Colonel Roosevelt, who was trying 
to promote a Congressional Medal for himself, lashed back at the 
disaffected mollycoddles who were saying that the tactics at Las 
Guasimas had been dubious. His men ". . . were not ambuscaded," 
he insisted. ''The battle was most scientific on both sides." What- 
ever his shortcomings were as a battle leader, the colonel stood 
up for his men; as he had helped them dig latrines and to com- 
mandeer Red Cross supplies over the protests of Miss Barton, he 
saw that they got home among the earliest. The First Volunteer 
Cavalry reached the bare shores of Montauk Point, Long Island, 
after a miserable nine days at sea, there to beg sandwiches from 
the carpenters who were hurriedly building a cantonment. 

Warren's first major assignment at home was to go to Montauk, 
where he saw Horace Bigod for the last time. 

"Once again," Horace said, "it looks as though the Army's affairs 
are being directed by a drunken Indian agent. Things here have the 
feel of home." 

Camp Wikoff was neither ready nor supplied when the trans- 
ports unloaded at its single wharf— another reminder of Fort 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 249 

Tampa days. Isolated, the camp lay at the far end of what was 
called ''the dirtiest, slowest, and most inconvenient of all railroads 
in the country/' although the company itself advertised "frequent 
and efficient service to happy homes on Long Island/' 

Frightened by the possibility that their heroes might transmit 
"fever bacilli" to the loving home folks, the State of New York 
demanded that they be quarantined. However, the War Depart- 
ment crammed Wikoff not solely with prostrate suspects, but with 
healthy soldiers who never had left the States; and one and all re- 
mained on travel rations for weeks within a hundred and twenty 
miles of the nation's largest city. Yet, again like Tampa, the Long 
Island Rail Road ran frequent and efficient excursions to Mon- 
tauk, so that lady rubberneckers could get underfoot. After a while 
of being adored and hungry, Horace and his successors lived high 
on food bought on the open market "without regard to prices" on 
direct orders from the President. 

Spain scored its only clear-out victory of the war after the truce, 
when La Compafiia Transatlantica Espanola underbid American 
steamship lines for the contract to return Spanish prisoners to 
their homeland. Considering the unfortunate happening aboard 
the Harvard off Siboney in July, this Spanish success may have been 
just as well. Nineteen prisoners seeking air on the Harvard's decks 
had been shot by their nervous guards, who were described by one 
indignant Spaniard as "semi-savage volunteers from the state of 
Massachusetts." 

The hot time in their old town which Philadelphians sang about 
that summer continued into September, when hundreds keeled 
over from heat prostration and twenty died. The plight of Andree, 
lost at the North Pole, got some minds off the weather; others be- 
lieved that swimming the English Channel sounded inviting, even 
if the damned fool who actually was trying the deed "deserves to 
drown." Those who beat the heat with books cooled off with Mr. 
Allen's The Choir InvisihlCy Miss Atherton's Patience Sparhawk, 
and Mr. Wells's The Invisible Man. 

With the absorption of the democrat, genus americanus, in the 
goings on among titled folk, Susan was horribly depressed by the 



250 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

assassination of the Austrian empress and was uplifted by the 
coronation of Wilhelmina of Holland. Ma Brecht said it was high 
time they got a pretty young queen somewheres over there to bal- 
ance off that dowdy old frump in England. Gus Kelley was in- 
trigued by the gaudy uniforms of young Kaiser Wilhelm and got 
an idea for his next New Year's shooter costume. 

''Herr Bismarck would have pulled a long face over the way that 
royal clown wastes good cloth," Gus said. "After Bismarck died 
last July I read that he was a skimper— paid his laborers ten cents 
a day, saying that more 'would only foster drunkenness and idle- 
ness among them.' Sounds just like Frick and Pullman, don't it?" 

In a world abounding with Bismarcks, Warren was tickled to 
discover The Will oi Charles Lounsbury, which bequeathed to 
children "the dandelions of the field and the daisies thereof," to 
boys "all the useful idle fields and commons where ball may be 
played," to lovers "the stars of the sky, and the red, red roses by 
the wall," and "to those who are no longer children or youths or 
lovers," the American Kenneth Grahame finished, "I leave mem- 
ory." 

At about the time he ran across The Will of Charles Lounsbury, 
Warren coined what he called Spangler's Law of Page Two et Seq., 
which went, "The insides of a newspaper contain its heart; the 
front page is merely a protective envelope." 

On Page Two one expected to find news that the brother of Don 
Valeriano Weyler, the Butcher of Cuba, had turned up as a quar- 
termaster sergeant—and a good one— in an Ohio regiment and 
that a minister in Fort Worth had preached a scheduled sermon 
first before going home to poison his wife. Captain Dreyfuss was 
going to have his case reviewed, and that was headline news, but 
on Page Two another Jew was saying to the Second Zionist Con- 
gress that he believed that the state of Israel could be re-established 
in Palestine. Theodore Herzl's project "abounded in romantic in- 
terest" even for the Russian Jews who attended the Congress, al- 
though they took no part in its debates out of fear that too much 
zeal for Zionism might be interpreted as treason back home. 

Page Two provided moral bonbons too. Here one read that the 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 251 

Presbytery of Philadelphia was convinced that the use of tobacco 
was "not a sin, but inconsistent with the Christian profession." 
Heaven heard the Presbyterians and sent a hailstorm which ruined 
the Lancaster County tobacco crop, some of the stones being big 
enough to kill rabbits. The W.C.T.U, declared somewhat mud- 
dily that, "The future generation of drunkards depends on the 
mothers/' and pressed on to prohibit beer in Old Soldiers' Homes 
and wine for Holy Communion. Casual derision of Catholics no 
longer was tolerated by large newspapers, but many bigots still 
insisted that there should be no place in the armed forces for 
Roman chaplains. 

A few people of immaculate probity even were saying that hold- 
ing a union card did not deprive a working man of his citizenship 
and humanity, but they were quoted on Page Two et Seq. To most 
merchants who invoked deity on bills of lading and the Union 
League on election day, this turncoat equalitarianism forecast the 
death of the republic of Washington, Lincoln, Vanderbilt, and 
Pinkerton, and their decencies were carried on the front page. 

The latest word from the campuses of the nation was slugged 
into Page Two et Seq., also, and fascinated Warren to the extent 
of a mild headache. Harvard said, ''The abnormal interest shown 
in [football players] was leading them to believe their doings are 
of real importance to the civilized world.'' Yale got a tap from the 
great evangelist Moody, who said, 'If my other son . . . gets as 
much good out of Yale as his brother did, I shall have reason to 
thank God throughout time and eternity." A man at Lafayette 
tried to burn down a college hall after having cut the ivy on several 
others to spite the faculty. He was Lafayette's assistant professor 
of ethics. 

Farther back of Page Two in the et Seq. sections the cartoonists 
gamboled. The Yellow Kid said, "Keep de change," and this was 
funny. Rastus and Mammy drawings showed lovable darkies steal- 
ing chickens, running from graveyards, picking watermelon seeds 
from their ears, and wearing the most uproariously comical rags 
for clothing that a person ever did see. There were change offs, of 
course, to the other ridiculous people of the world: Englishmen 



252 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

in monocles who said, "Bally!/' Eye-talians leading monkeys and 
tipping da hat, Chermans mit tubas vot vent "oompah/' and foine 
Irishmen smoking dudeens and bruising one another most amus- 
ingly. Editorially, other humorists had fun with a certain war hero's 
name, which sounded like Rosenfelt, but none of these clever peo- 
ple stung the gallant colonel like Mr. Dooley, who suggested that 
his memoirs of the war be titled, "Alone in Cubia." 

Warren himself contributed a Page Two account of the restora- 
tion of Independence Hall; twelve people worked three years on 
research alone, he learned, and the reconstruction was finished by 
late October in time to impress the thousands of visitors who at- 
tended Philadelphia's Peace Jubilee. Warren took his fiancee to 
all three days of the Jubilee events, and even got her an advance 
peek into the Bellevue Hotel apartment where the President's wife 
would stay. 

"Oh, Warren, did I ever think I'd see her rooms with my own 
eyes! Why, they're a perfect study in pink and ivory— and do look 
at the orchids and American Beauties and that green stuff!" 

"The green stuff is asparagus, they tell me." 

"You're kidding!" 

"Nope, I asked. . . . Anyhow, hon, aren't you glad you're mar- 
rying an influential guy who knows house detectives?" 

The monster naval parade on the Delaware almost overwhelmed 
Susan, who flinched at the salutes to the Secretary of the Navy 
and wished noisemaking had been confined to the locomotive 
whistles, church bells, and general huzzaing. Besides, there just was 
too much of everything to see. Big boats spread out for miles, you 
know, with little fellows like the one she was on skittering around 
and ramming into posts and things. . . . Upriver, the new cruiser 
Kasagi lay at Cramp's Shipyards with every flag in its locker flying 
in lieu of having guns to answer salutes. Susan begged Warren to 
run the Ledger launch close so that she might see a Japanese, and 
was delighted when a little man in a huge fore-and-aft plumed hat 
bowed to her from the cruiser's bridge. 

"Commander Gin Seyeki, I guess he was," Warren said, "Cap- 
tain Kashiwafara's deputy. They just arrived to take over." 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 253 

"He was cute/* Susan said. "Isn't it a shame such nice little peo- 
ple choose such sneezy names?" 

Because the next day was stormy, the military celebration was 
postponed until Thursday. Warren got his lady a chair by a mez- 
zanine window of the Stratford Hotel before he shoved into the 
jammed street. Sidewalk-grandstand speculators were asking two 
dollars a seat, but Susan from her window could see most of the 
Court of Honor with its plaster arch and columns through which 
the triumphal parade would pass. By leaning out she could have 
seen the electric sign on City Hall which proclaimed, "The ^ 
Spangled Banner In Triumph Doth Wave," but she was so excited 
that she was afraid of tumbling into Broad Street. 

Then she heard the advance of martial music and saw the first 
wave of policemen in gray dress derbies clearing the street for 
General Miles and the Twentyfirst Infantry band at the head of 
the marchers. For a moment Susan thought she would faint with 
national pride— was there ever a handsomer general, or a nobler 
sight than the legginged men following him? The cheering masses 
on the sidewalks thought there never had been either, and threw 
cigars and fried oysters to them. Proud small boys strutted by 
carrying signs before the sections of the parade which identified 
regiments from twenty states, including the "First Deleware." 
Some marines went by with a goat and the crowds shouted, "Guan- 
tanamo!" which was not the goafs name, but should not have en- 
raged him so. The jingling cavalry was so romantic, Susan thought, 
and the rumble of the artillery on the asphalt sounded stern and 
protective. 

Pushing through the crowd, Warren had his pocket picked, but 
did not know it until much later, when he was able to say that the 
thief had stolen trash. He was wondering why General Shafter 
was not in line, and why the oldest, most tottery Civil War vet 
always seemed to carry the largest, most unmanageable flag in 
these affairs. He got the name of that old stager as well as of 
another in the G.A.R. contingent who was swinging along between 
crutches— what, all the way up from Snyder Avenue? And he ex- 
pected to make it the rest of the way to York Street? . . . 



254 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

From the reviewing stand in the Court of Honor, President 
McKinley bowed to the tough old cripple. The President looked 
pale and sick, Warren thought, but he did laugh when a tall bands- 
man of the 201 st New York— "Crackshot" Herman, the Ledger 
man found he was— amused everyone by his virtuosity as a Scotch 
drummer. Hobson and his Meinmac crew went by in a carriage, 
and the crowd reached its zenith of enthusiasm; to Warren it 
seemed that the deluge of shot Hobson had faced in Santiago 
harbor could have been no more dangerous than the chocolates and 
box lunches which were hurled at him by his wild admirers. . . . 

Tireless in its ''blaze of Patriotic Glory,'' the city turned out 
again along the same line of march Friday. The civic parade, to 
Warren's mind, was more colorful than the Navy's or the Army's 
show. Plain citizens could run the gamut in festive costume and 
behavior, and yet even in masquerade they often were quite them- 
selves. Titania, Queen of the Fairies, went by eating a pretzel, for 
instance, and Vulcan was stripping a banana. The float representing 
The Birth of Old Glory lacked Betsy Ross, who had fallen off, but 
a file of Continentals led by a slightly skunked Anthony Wayne got 
cheers. "The onlookers must have been out-of-towners," Warren 
wrote that night, "because everybody in Philadelphia was parad- 
ing." 

School children, the art institutes, the Knights of the Golden 
Eagle, the P.O.S. of A., the Mannerchor, postmen, customs col- 
lectors, firemen, all paraded. Even the Chinese from drab Race 
Street went by dressed in sailors' whites, while the mandarins in 
line probably were employees of the Department of Public Works, 
Bureau of Street Cleaning. Which was more fun, Warren thought, 
to show off in a parade or to watch one? . . . The biggest hit of 
the day was the string of Commercial Museum floats which de- 
picted America's new possessions— four authentic Hawaiians on 
one float really got the crowd and made a number of home-bred 
Kiplings sit down that night to write imperial verse for the news- 
paper. 

All in all, it was a hectic week to precede his wedding, Warren 
thought as he finished his story that night at the Ledger. Susie 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 255 

had taken the trolley home in a state of emotional exhaustion she 
described as "gone-ness/' and he himself felt a bit like wet bunting. 
He threw down his pencil, clasped his hands behind his head, and 
stared at the green-shaded bulb overhead. . . . 

Just to think: Monday there'd be a Mrs. Spangler who wouldn't 
be Mother. Everybody was about set for the balloon to go up, too. 
They had decided to hold the service at Warren's home for many 
reasons, including Susan's rather frightening offhand remark that 
"he owed his family the spectacle." Ma Brecht and Gus looked 
forward to the jaunt to Lancaster, although it had taken a bit of 
argument to convince Ma that Lancaster was only three hours' 
travel time away— she had been afraid she'd have to remain fully 
dressed in her berth overnight, "in case of an accident." Gus was 
pleased he'd been asked to give away the bride, which surprised 
Susan, since she had blindly assumed he would be backward when 
asked. Uncle Charley, Warren's one-legged uncle who had been 
quite a heller in his own youth, was coming deadhead all the way 
from San Francisco, and had written a stilted letter of congratu- 
lation to Warren in which he had made a lumbering joke about 
being surprised that a little fellow in knee pants was taking a wife 
— his wife, and passing time, and long service with the U.P. Rail- 
road had slowed Uncle Charley down a lot. 

Mother had sent a couple of friendly letters to Susan, which 
Warren realized were important to the girl. Susan had allowed him 
to read one of them, a chatty bit of this-and-that which ranged 
from talk of a scalp wound from a hatpin to a recipe for making 
rutabagas edible, but his sweetheart had been secretive about the 
other. It made Warren feel tense and betrayed. 

Dad knew better than to write the heartily false sort of letter 
which Warren now realized that prospective bridegrooms always 
receive. In his only letter since they'd been to Lancaster, Frank 
had apologized for not really liking the Public Ledger his son was 
sending. "A man gets used to his local blatter, and its misprints 
and nuisances generally are more acceptable to him than the best 
features of a strange sheet. That isn't good sense, but it's human— 
however, I see I've repeated myself. . . ." 



256 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

Very soon, Warren ruminated, the Ledger would not be simply 
a fine way in which to indulge his curiosity about people, but 
would be a livelihood, a breadbox on which a wife would depend. 
And, in God's time, would be a teat for his children. . . . The 
City Room was cool, but he had to wipe a sudden perspiration off 
his forehead. The boys' ribald good wishes, ''Allah send thee 
power,'' "May all your troubles . . ." and so forth were humorous, 
he supposed, but the thought of the changes fatherhood would 
bring suddenly seemed graver than becoming a Buddhist monk. 
Warren Spangler, he, a creator of lives! Well, naturally the doing 
wouldn't be all his, nor even the toughest part, but it seemed in- 
credible on this Friday night, the twentyeighth of October, 1898, 
that in a few years somebody or -bodies would be calling him 
*'Dada." Scared hell out of him, too. . . . 

His friend Tweed, the sketch artist, came over to Warren's desk, 
but the mooner did not hear him. Standing in the gloom outside 
the circle of the hanging bulb's light, Tweed had to repeat a 
question. 

''Come to, bub! You trying to think of a rhyme for orange or 
something?" 

"No, I'm . . . Oh, hello. Tweedy." 

"How about a cup of coffee and a snack?" 

"Sure. Good idea. I've finished." 

Outside, the night air was tingly; it suggested the immineiice 
of nights for woolen blankets. Venus was bright in the south, but 
northward over Frankford, where Susan probably was asleep, the 
sky was dark. Too dark, it seemed to Warren. 

"What's biting you?" Tweed said. "I've asked you twice how you 
reckon the election will come off, and twice you've said, 'Prob- 
ably.' " 

"I did?" 

Tweed gave him a long look, but instead of speaking he twisted 
his long mustaches and smiled. They went on in step until outside 
Horn and Hardart's the artist said abruptly: 

"Nervous, matey?" 

"Who, me?" Warron shook himself. "What about, what about?" 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 257 

"That'll pass for a confession," Tweed said. "You're wondering 
how you happened to come to the edge, and whether you ought 
to take the big jump, huh?" 

"Don't be daffy!" 

"It'll get worse, so cheer up. Stretch. Me, I had the worst attack 
of the feebles just before the organist let fly with Mendelssohn, 
and if Bill Abbot hadn't been right there with me in that little 
room off the altar rail, I'd have flown the coop. . . . No, of course 
I wouldn't have, but it was good to have Bill there with a small 
bottle of stuff he'd brought along in case there were snakes in the 
chapel. . . . Sure, most men get panicked somewhere between 
the time they ask the lady to say yes and the day when it all 
becomes ofiicial with 1 will.' It's a feeling as if what's going to 
happen is no part of their doing or choosing." 

Warren stared. How had Tweedy guessed? A man did feel- 
well, sort of trapped. 

The artist laughed at the look and put his hand on Warren's 
arm. 

"Stretch, have you ever considered the purgative value of a 
bender?" 

"Why, no, not exactly. You see, I couldn't drink when I was 
on the crew, and " 

"Yes, yes. I understand. You fell into the habit of thoughtless 
abstinence. But what I'm trying to insinuate is that when the 
course of human events gets cheesy one's soul may need a physic. 
For me, anyway, a workmanlike souse does the trick." 

"Bushwa," Warren said, but hesitated. 

Tweed shook his head. "All right, but sometimes no matter how 
fragile I feel when I look at the ceiling the moming after a sober 
bit of drinking, I discover that the poison cured me." 

After a pause Warren said, "I'll buy the first one," and they 
turned around and went to McGovem's. . . . 

Warren groaned awake the next day. Tweedy, he felt, was a 
damned liar and a mere promoter of free drinks for himself. The 
only thing a morning-after did for Warren was to make death it- 



258 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

self seem desirable, let alone marriage unto death. How on earth 
could little splashes of rye in those sarsaparillas manage to make 
his skull feel like a lead mine? . . . Well, tomorrow was The 
Day, anyhow. Hooray. Now if there was just some way right this 
minute of steering the bed into a smoother anchorage . . . 



xxvm 



Rowena reached behind one shoulder for a handful of heavy hair 
and leaned down into the work of brushing it. 

''Oh, I don't know,'' she said. "The music we heard tonight 
was nice, but I wouldn't say it was better. The New York band 
was bigger." 

"God," said her husband, "what a method of comparison!" 

"You're just miffed because it's so." 

"All right, then," Caleb said, "by the same reasoning I could 
say that the Symphonic Society's conductor is better than the New 
York one because he could lick him— our man's got about a twenty- 
pound weight advantage. And by the way, I don't mean to be tire- 
some, but when will you get around to calling a symphony orches- 
tra by its proper name? . . . Band/" 

He turned away from the hotel window and went into the bath- 
room. It was a curious feeling, he thought, to look down into 
Market Street from a Bingham House window, knowing that on 
the hotel book you were registered as a guest from Tampa, Florida. 
Tomorrow the illusion of being alien would disappear when he and 
Rowena went to stay with his parents for the rest of their honey- 
moon; but now, for a night, his native city seemed strange be- 
cause he no longer was of it. Not even his marriage had made him 
feel quite so aware that a curtain had dropped between him and 
the year almost gone. 

"I couldn't see well enough from our box to make a sure count 
of the orchestra," Rowena said, "but I'm sure it was littler. I'll 
have to get me a pair of those cunning little opera glasses on a 
stick when we come North next season." 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 259 

He said "Urrgh'' through a foam of Camphorated Saponaceous 
Dentifrice. On top of the drinks he'd had after the concert the 
toothpaste tasted even more helhsh than usual; Rowena, though, 
implored him to use it regularly, for it kept her teeth ''pearly," 
she said. . . . Well, you had to humor a woman when you lived 
with her. Toothpaste was a small thing to concede to save argu- 
ment. . . . 

'Twentytwo, twentythree, twentyfour," she counted. Her butter- 
cream hair crackled and clung to the brush. "Anyhow, I would be 
careful how I talked if I were you. YouVe said the only reason you 
ever went to the Academy of Music or the opera was because it 
was a ritual expected of the better class of people. Now, me, I 
love classical pieces and I don't care. ... I do wish they'd played 
'The Rosary' for one of their encores— it's the loveliest thing." 

Caleb dried his face. On the rack also were several of Rowena's 
own linen towels; she said that even though they were staying in 
town just for the night there was no sense risking her sensitive 
skin with chancy hotel cottons. 

"Did you hear me, Caleb?" 

"Sure. Something about 'The Rosary.' " 

"No, that was before. You don't listen to me, lover-boy. I said, 
how long had you known Mrs. Spangler?" 

"Susan? Oh, briefly." 

"Did you ever tell me about her? Was she the one who " 

"No. Whoever you're thinking of— no." 

"She's a pretty little thing. Only, that silk ribbon in her hair. 
So girlish— my!" 

"She looked all right to me." 

"You're a man, dear boy. Men think anything young is beautiful. 
It isn't, though; a mature woman, for instance, has . . ." 

Caleb sat on the edge of the bed in his nightshirt and began 
to shred dead skin from a callus, a stubborn memento of the 
walking Rough Riders. Rowena turned from the mirror and said: 

"Do you crave blood poisoning? Besides, that's a disgusting 
habit. . . . Anyhow, that red taffeta she was wearing was a scream, 
wasn't it?" 



26o THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

''If you have no preference which question I should answer, Fll 
say that I thought her dress suited her coloring and wasn't any- 
where near so loud as those ties you bought for me in New York. 
Two of them carelessly rubbed together could start a fire. I think 
Susan was got up in good taste. Deponent sayeth no further." 

''Are you trying to dig me?" 

"Hell, no," he said, balancing the stress between his words. 

His wife leaned toward him reproachfully. "Why do you bully- 
rag me about ornamentation, anyhow, Caleb? That gold passemen- 
terie for the gown you picked out, for instance— I only ordered a 
little bitty piece for the neckline, but, gracious, you took on so 
sarcastically that I didn't wear any jewelry even, except one tiny 
dingle-dangle at the throat!" 

Her dressing jacket gaped, exposing the breasts which had looked 
proud in the square-cut, low, black velvet gown he had personally 
selected. Caleb stared at the bosom a moment and then yawned. 

"Never mind, Rowena. If you don't understand, you don't un- 
derstand." 

He swung his legs into bed with a grunt; the stiffness lingering 
from his wound sometimes hurt him late at night or on rising. 
Rowena resumed her yard-long brushing. 

"Forty, fortyone— all the fashionable women in the parquet 
and boxes had opera glasses, so " 

"We'll get you a pair in mother-of-pearl, dear, so shut up." 

He chuckled suddenly, and his wife glanced at him. She mis- 
trusted abrupt signs of amusement. 

"I just thought of poor old Stretch," Caleb explained. 

"Oh?" 

"Fll bet Susan will lead him a chase. She's a starchy one." 

"Tell me about her. Was she one of your women too?" 

"Damn it, Rowena, forget my women!" 

"Oh, lover-man, you know I'm just interested." 

"Anyhow, that wasn't the real reason I said 'poor old Stretch.' 
I was sympathizing over the crummy job he has, and the way he— 
I don't know. He strikes me as vague and restless." 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 261 

*Tou needn't have proposed having a rarebit together just 
because we ran into them in the foyer. Weren't there other more 
gracious people there that you knew?" 

''Oh, you know how it goes— old school friend— well, well, hello, 
old man— all that. Besides, he was damned considerate about me 
when I was on my back down in Cuba, and, most of all, I owe 
meeting you to him." 

"Sweet!" 

'TJh-huh. How well had you known him, by the way?" 

"So-so." 

"That's no answer!" 

She smiled at him by way of the mirror. "Why, lover, I do sus- 
pect you're jealous of big old Warren and little old me." 

"No, I " 

"If you mean, did I ever invite him up a ladder to say good-by 
before he left for Cuba, the answer is no." 

"He had a room to use, too." 

"We didn't spark there, either," she said, which was true, but 
she gave her voice a slight suggestion of you're-getting-warmer, 
which annoyed her husband. Baffled as she intended, he dropped 
the subject and yawned again to show his indifference. 

"Sixtysix, sixtyseven, sixtyeight," she murmured, still smiling. 
"Warren's a talented young man, though, don't you think?" 

"I don't know nor care. You told him so tonight in just those 
words, I remember. Why do you have to remind people you're 
older than they are?" 

"Fudge!" said Rowena. "Do I? It must be a bad old habit I got 
from Howard Joe. Dear old Howard Joe, he " 

"He resurrects too often to suit me, too." 

"Well, after all, I was his wife a long time, and living with a 
man is habit-forming, you might say, and " 

"Oh, drop it! It seems to me you'd try to forget you've got 
eight or nine years on me." 

"Eight," said Rowena. "You know, when you're pouty you make 
it hard for me to forget my motherly instincts, dear boy." 

"And cut out the 'dear boy' mush, will you?" 



262 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

"Sixtysix, sixtysev— now see! You made me lose count." 

''Speaking of mothers," Caleb said, "we'd better take rooms 
at the Tampa Bay until our house is built and ready. Your mother's 
clack gives me the fantods." 

''She does talk a lot, but it oughtn't to bother you," Rowena 
said placidly. "Don't listen. I don't." 

"Jabber, jabber, jabber, from dawn to dark." 

"Just don't give your ears the bother." 

"How can your father stand it? How any man could is beyond 
me." 

"Howard Joe used to say Oh, I forgot. I mustn't talk about 

him. Anyhow, the whole subject isn't worth the effort. Eightyfour, 
eightyfive . . ." 

Caleb noticed that there was a pattern of interlocked loops run- 
ning around the rim of the ceiling, and it suggested a chain, an 
endless chain. 

His family liked Rowena, or seemed to. It was hard to tell about 
them when they had their manners on, which was nearly always, 
but his mother had cried and smiled all at once, and his father 
had opened a bottle of his solemn-joy Madeira, so the meeting 
went off all right. If they were withholding approval in the backs 
of their minds, it would make no difference; they'd only have to 
be visited once a year by Rowena, and both sides could make shift 
to stand that. 

Of course when life grew tedious in Florida he'd come North 
alone, oftener than annually, as often as needed to take a holiday 
from marriage. If outsiders got curious, the reason was business, 
or family necessity; Rowena and he had agreed to that, for theirs 
was going to be an alliance of two honest people. They had reached 
their understanding shortly after he had asked her to marry him— 
just how he had felt the impulse to propose was unclear, but once 
the question was out he had hastened to mourn his probable in- 
ability to be a truly good husband, if she knew what he meant. 

Rowena had known what he meant. "Sweet boy, I've thought of 
that. I'm not a possessive kitty, not that way, and I think you'll 
be nicer to me if you're not close-bound. You can just go ahead 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 263 

and— refresh yourself when you please. Only be discreet— which I 
am sure you will be." 

She already had shown she did mean what she had said, and it 
irritated him more than he cared to admit. She appeared to enjoy 
his tales of bachelor rounding, which were meant to tease but which 
backfired. She prodded him into details, by God, that you ordi- 
narily would not mention even at a stag smoker, and then laughed— 
laughed.^ One night last week while they'd been lying awake at the 
Cataract House above the falls at Niagara she'd really succeeded 
in shocking him. **How I wish I could be you for just a few weeks, 
to see how it all feels," she'd said— now wasn't that something to 
take the ragtime out of manhood! 

Her broad-mindedness was a trap, more than likely. ''All I'll 
ever require of you," she'd said, "is to be sure you remember I'm 
Mrs. Caleb Hawkins." Behind the words was a dagger; "remember" 
had undertones of "if not . . ." and suggested that she would 
make him regret any attempt to discard her. Well, that possibility 
was remote, really. A marriage with silken bonds, and the life in 
Florida, would demand as little hardship as he could want. Out- 
door living, hunting, fishing, perhaps a few drinking fellowships, 
and no need to plow a straight furrow. Everybody polite, and no- 
body thoughtful. Beautiful wife, beautiful life— what more could a 
man want to make him settle down? 

If only there weren't a sneaking feeling of being on a leash some- 
how. The "dear boy" mush, and those flexible smiles which gave 
away nothing of what was going on behind the green eyes. She 
made him feel like— like a convenience, damn it! The empress's 
tame gladiator, and all that that implied. . . . 

"Why don't you quit currying and turn out the lights?" he 
said. 

"Now you know I always brush my hair good at night, Caleb, 
so you may as well get used to it. Being so long, it takes longer 
to stroke. A hundred and twentyeight, a hundred and twentynine, 
a hundr " 

"Well, God damn it, don't count out loud!" 

She sighed. "Oh dear, you want to be quarrelsome. I guess the 



264 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

honeymoon is over even before it's over/' Then she smiled one of 
her green smiles. ''But maybe it's because you're tired, poor boy. 
It has been a full day— and two such full, glorious months!" 

"Yes. Nov^ hurry v^ith the lights. I am tired." 

'Til be with you in a jiffy, lover-man." 

When she had braided, and washed, and darkened the room, 
however, she found that lover-man was snoring. 

After a bit of trouble in the dark with the cranky lock and his 
wife's coaching, Warren got open the door to their house. He stood 
aside and said: 

"Le Chateau Spangler sur Franklin Square, madam." 

Susan said, "Hello, house," and hurried in. 

When she had taken off her coat she held her bare arms across 
her taffetaed breast and shivered. 

"Brrr! December's gone cold and so has this house." 

"Go to bed," Warren said. "I'll be along pronto." 

"You just want me to take the chill off the sheets for you." 

"Beat it!" 

In the kitchen he mixed a dose of bicarbonate for himself and 
some condensed milk with warm water from the back of the coal 
range for the cat, who had complained of shabby treatment when 
let in. Then Warren banked the furnace fire, dropped a precau- 
tionary quarter into the gas meter, tore a leaf off the kitchen calen- 
dar, shoved kitty downstairs, and climbed Wooden Mountain him- 
self. Susan was a dune on one side of their bed, with the blanket 
drawn to her chin, when he came into their room. 

"I was so chilly I was careless," she said, "but did you look to 
see if Tomas was hanging around?" 

"He was. I gave him some milk, and he deigned to drink it." 

Warren undressed rapidly, washed, and raced for the covers. For 
a moment or two Susan had a spell of quaking and giggling over 
the cold air he had let into the bed, and then they lay still and 
watched the pattern on the ceiling thrown by the gaslight in the 
alley. It was the kind of pause at day's end which a wife loves, and 
which she usually breaks. 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 265 

"I wonder/' Susan said, "why our friend Caleb married a woman 
so much older than he is?" 

"Huh? Who?" her husband said drowsily. 

"Caleb. Marrying a faded old beauty, I said." 

"She's not rusty yet, hon. Maybe she's thirty." 

"She'll never see thirty again, I promise you." 

"Neither will you when you're thirtyone, kid, but what the hell." 

"Well, something I'll never do will be to swish around as if 
being a little older and sixty cents richer than the next person gives 
me the right to treat her like a— an amusing bug!" 

"She got on your nerves, huh?" 

"A bug on its back!'' 

Susan mimicked Rowena, but not well, because she disliked her 
too much. "Way-ul, Ah declayuh yo look too cunnen fo wohds, 

Miz Spanglah. Yo ribbon adds jest a touch I could have 

touched her with a mop handle when she fingered it!" 

"She wanted to be friendly, I guess." 

"HaJi/" 

"All right, she wanted to see if it was silk, then. I wouldn't let 
Rowena upset me, hon, when you won't see her again." 

"Oh, I suppose. ... I must say she was positively ravishing in 
that black govm, though. So simple and rich it was, and with her 
height and bare shoulders and all, darn it, I felt insignificant!" 

"If it will cheer you up, I can tell you that men were turning to 
look at you too. I kept score." 

"My goodness, don't try to tell me/ It was her in that dress. And 
the way it was cut, down to " 

"Yes, you could see down Happy Valley to the Twin Peaks on 
a clear day, couldn't you?" 

"Speak for yourself. You were trying hard enough to." 

"Well, it kept me occupied and out of mischief. The conversa- 
tion curled up its toes and died when you two ladies wouldn't let 
us men talk about the nasty old war. What in the world did you 
find so engrossing in chitchat about Tampa people you didn't 
know, and about how drunk they get, and how much money they 
have?" 



266 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

''Because, smarty, I don't sit and stare around the room just be- 
cause Fm fidgety. Anyhow, even if I was gracious and hstened to 
her, she knew I didn't Hke her." 

"In the interests of social honesty, Fm glad to know women can 
tell." 

''And I was fascinated hearing about their trip. Oh dear, Warren, 
I guess there's no use moaning, but I do wish we could have taken 
our honeymoon right after we got married." 

"So do I, sweetheart, but I couldn't ask for a leave so soon after 
the post-Cuba holiday. We'll be sure to go honeymooning during 
my vacation next summer." 

"Niagara Falls?" 

"If it's still running. Just think how aristocratic it'll be to look 
at that big splash when we're old married people instead of com- 
mon newlyweds!" 

"For all you know, I may be wearing my bustle backwards next 
summer, or even sooner maybe." 

"Hooray! He or she or them could go along, family-excursion 
style." 

"Just imagine me all swelled out on my honeymoon! Think of 
the talk! And what pleasure could I, or an unborn baby, get out of 
the scenery?" 

"Well, he might hear the falls." 

"Warren Spangler!" 

But she giggled, and he kissed her. However, when he rolled 
over on his sleeping side, thinking the bed talk was done, he found 
himself mistaken. 

"How well did you know her, Warren?" 

"Who, Rowena? Oh, I took her to dances down there. It's 
customary to take women to dances— unless you're a woman, that 



is." 



"Uh-huh. I mean, leally know her?" 

"Not that well." 

"Are you sure?" 

"Practically. Why?" 

"Oh, she behaved as if she owned you, too, and had just rented 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 267 

you out for the evening. Tapping you with her fan and all that. I 
could have spit." 

"I think Rowena likes to hold court whenever chance offers, 
Susie.'' 

'Td hate to think we were beginning our marriage by keeping 
secrets from each other." 

"Do you really want to know?" 

"Certainly. ... No, no, don't tell me!" 

He chuckled and hugged her. "Well, I was in love with Rowena, 
but unfortunately I'd already married Queen Victoria in Mil- 
waukee. Secretly. So, you see " 

"Warren Spangler, don't joke about a thing like that— ever!" 

"My sweet, my pepper, my Susie. You love to torment yourself 
with foolish questions, don't you? Now suppose I were to pin you 
down about the stable of lovers you kept, now just supposing?" 

"You'd get a damation hard smack! Besides, you're a gentleman, 
I guess." 

Both of them laughed aloud. In another period of intimate 
silence they heard a trolley hurry across the double crosstracks at 
Arch Street, bunk-bunk, bunka-bunk-bunk, and waited until it 
droned by underneath their window. Both of them felt glad they 
were not on the trolley going somewhere in the night. 

Warren said, "Happy?" 

"Uh-huh. Are you?" 

"It's my hobby. ... I wonder if Caleb ever will be?" 

"I'm so happy I hope so, and even for that hoity-toity blonde, 
too." 

"Maybe they will be, for a time, anyhow. From what I know of 
Caleb, he's always been gay until the different becomes the usual. 
The different doesn't have to be good, but just different; and the 
usual doesn't have to be bad, just usual." 

"You better write that down. You can use it sometime in a 
story." 

"I am wonderful, ain't I?" 

"Ohmyes! And pretty too." 

"Think I'll ever beat you, Mrs. S?" 



268 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

"Think ril let you, Mr. S?" 

''Think we'll ever get any sleep tonight?" 

However, the play turned to something more than words then. 
Susan started that, too. 

Afterward she went to sleep with one arm across her husband's 
chest. It reminded him of how Stephen Crane had spoken of the 
security of love: 

Should the wide world loU away, 

Leaving black teiioi. 

Limitless night, 

Not God, nor man, nor place to stand 

Would he to me essential, 

li thou and thy white aims were there, 

And the fall to doom a long way. 

Warren thought that white arms were much of love, but as he 
went to sleep he thought of simpler happinesses too. The warm 
blanket, for instance, and the gladness you weren't on a streetcar 
thundering away into the distance, and knowing that home was a 
place to come home to. Always providing that on the first of the 
month, when the rent came 'round, you could pay. But, above all, 
knowing that for richer or for poorer there was someone to share. 



XXIX 



Because they had spent Christmas with his family in Lancaster, 
Warren and Susan arranged to spend the New Year's holiday with 
hers, so on Saturday the thirtyfirst they took the cars to Frankford 
to have supper with Ma Brecht and Gus. 

Ma was sentimentally scandalized to hear that the newlyweds 
would not spend the first hours of the beginning year together; 
Warren was going to report how the downtown part of the city 
should welcome 1899. 

''And I'll catch some sleep in what's left of the night at home/' 
he said. "No use disturbing you here in the dawn." 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 269 

''Well, anyhow/' Gus said, "you won't miss me after supper in 
me pristine glory— Kelley, the pride of the Golden Slipper Club. 
By the time you see me again I won't be able to guarantee ontire 
satisfaction." 

"I should smile/' Ma said, unsmiling. "He's going to make a day 
of tonight." 

"Maybe two/' said Gus. "Most of the boys has Hangover Mon- 
day off." 

Warren was reading a dispatch with a Havana date line when 
Gus came downstairs in costume. The report said, "Every Cuban 
is expected to explode with enthusiasm at twelve noon, Sunday, 
January 1, 1899, for at that hour the American flag will be unfurled 
over the old Morro Castle." Farther along Warren read that the 
Anti-Imperialist League felt that the day should be one of mourn- 
ing, and was both amused and embarrassed by the lines, "It is be- 
coming common to see intoxicated American soldiers on the streets 
of Havana. . . . There is a big demand for an American drug- 
store." 

When Gus entered in his mummer's getup, Warren burst out 
laughing. The burly old boy suggested nothing quite so well as an 
embodiment of the "Pomp and Circumstance" march played on a 
kazoo. 

*'Hoch dei Kaiser/" Gus demanded through his false spiked mus- 
tache, and tugged at a sword which looked an inch or two short of 
nine feet. 

Ma Brecht screeched, "Gus Kelley, mind the breakables! You 
and that thing!" 

"It ought to come in handy to clean out a bierstube," the Kaiser 
said, spitting on the blade. 

"Gus, you could be hung up by the thumbs for lese majesty, or 
whatever such disrespect calls for in Germany," Warren said. 
"You're a corker!" 

"This ain't Germany, thank God," Gus said, trying to find his 
scabbard with the point of the blade and having as much difficulty 
as the average Knight of Columbus might. "What do you think 
me mother's old man dusted out of Germany for if it wasn't dis- 



j%.^ 



«« 



270 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

respect for what this here represents? But ain't I the pippin? Wil- 
helm Hohenzollern Kelley, Esquire— if I don't take the comic 
prizes. Til suspect the worst of the judges, I tell you!" 

Susan said, 'Tor goodnessake, where did you find those trap- 
pings?" 

'Trom friends and others, but it took doing in spots. The red 
britches I won playing pinochle, from a guy that was a Zouave in 
the war— the big one in 'sixtyone. The monkey jacket with the 
shoulder dusters was left of a lodge uniform that belonged to Bill 
Parsons. I— uh — honeyfuggled it off his widow." 

'Tes, yes?" Warren said, but Margaret's sniff put a stopper to 
details of winning the braided green coat. 

''Well, the jack boots I built up meself from a pair of brogans I 
glued patent leather onto. Tom Dungan loaned me this old Light- 
house Fire Brigade helmet which I titivated up some." 

"Lily-gilding if ever I saw lily-gilding," Warren said. 

"But the sword's the daisy! Ian Maclver says it's a heirloom- 
calls it a claymore. The way the durn thing dangles on me couldn't 
be sillier nor better!" 

"You'll break your neck," Ma said. 

"Get a flash of me medals! I must of gone to thirty pawnshops 
for them. This'n, now, third from the left, fourth row up— it says, 
'In Recognition of a Kind Heart: Our Dumb Friends' League.' 
Ain't that a darb?" 

"I declare," Margaret said, "I don't understand this New Year 
shooting. Grown men like him"— pointing brittlely at her boarder 
—"sewing on them tomfool rigs for months, just to go out and 
fall down drunk in! Lordy, the prizes they fight over is only gew- 
gaws from neighborhood shops around Frankford, and come Mon- 
day he won't know if it was a Reading train hit him or the 
Archangel Mike. Judging from the weather outside, I'll be in the 
wholesale mustard-plaster business for a week, too." 

"I glory in me shame," said Gus. 

"Even you will wonder what was the use. Well, what is?'' 

Warren said, "If you have a choice between laughing or crying 
a new year in. Ma, what would you choose?" 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 271 

''Attaboy!" Gus said. 

''It's better Gus's way, Ma/' Susan said slowly. "Dogs and cats 
can't make fools of themselves over a new year, because they don't 
know one from another. But men do— not just because we've got 
calendars, either, but— oh, I don't know— maybe because we've 
got hopeful souls." 

She blushed because everyone looked at her. 

"Well, my!" said her mother. 

Warren smiled. Gus said: 

"Whatever it is, a feller gets such a charge of it that he has to 
act the jackass to keep from busting." 

"Hear, hear," Warren murmured. 

"I guess there's always hope that 1899 will be better," Gus said. 
"And come 1900 — sounds funny, don't it? — there's hope that'll fill 
the flush. And if the 1900s won't, maybe the coming whatchama- 
callem will. The year 2000, I mean." 

"Millennium?" Warren said. 

"Yes. I wish I was educated. Sure, Susie, if millions didn't have 
hope to go on, no New Year's would mean any more than they do 
to the cats and bov^wows. Without better to look forward to, there 
wouldn't be any sense to living and obeying laws and raising kids." 

Susan glanced at her husband, then looked away. He wondered 
what she meant, but forgot to ask later. In another month or so, 
she thought, she would be certain enough of a suspicion to tell 
him. . . . 

The memory of her passionate face when she had said, "not just 
because we've got calendars," warmed Warren's heart through the 
night as he tramped about the downtown streets keeping watch 
for 1899. . . . We don't know what the onrushing years will 
bring, Susie, but we can hope, can't we? 

Life as Dad had known it when he was young, and what his 
father had known, had been so much simpler than now. Oh, not 
easier exactly, but a lot more predictable. Nothing moved so fast 
then, and a man could be reasonably sure that any coming year 
would be much the same as those which had passed; by looking at 
your father, and at his shop, and listening to his opinions, you 



272 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

could pretty well guess what you yourself would look and sound 
like in twenty or thirty years. Nowadays even an empire four 
hundred years old could collapse within four months! And great 
cataclysms had their counterparts in tiny strains and smashes all 
about you, the rights or wrongs of which were a babble of tongues, 
for all any one man could know. 

If there was one firm certainty in the world, Warren thought, it 
was that no man could isolate himself from the effects of the vast 
contentions, just as it was sure that every man contributed to 
them. ''No man is an Hand, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece 
of the Continent, a part of the maine.'' It was an awful thought, 
but how could John Donne, who had lived back in so much simpler 
days, have known how truly he wrote? . . . 

In the City Room hours later he read what he had written of the 
night's doings. On the wall a Seth Thomas ticktocked like a death- 
watch, its pendulum winking solemnly through a sunburst hole in 
its case. The wee hours were getting to be big boys now, Seth said. 

. . . Neighhoihood New Year's ''shooting'' in Philadelphia is a 
dying custom [Warren read], at least so far as invasions of the cen- 
tial city are concerned. There were moie highjinks on the Eooi oi 
the Bourse this aiteinoon than on the downtown streets tonight. 
The Bourse traders cast dignity to the winds and engaged in a jolly 
Eght with grain hags and inflated bladders, but in iront oi Inde- 
pendence Hall by a quarter to midnight not a single pistol shot had 
been £red. Police reserves stood about the renovated State House 
shufRing their feet in the raw cold and looking as ii they might 
have welcomed a little blood-stirring misbehavior. However^ the 
lockup boxes on the street corners held no miscreants awaiting the 
station wagon except for a few ordinary-Saturday-night tosspots. 
Aside from the £res under the pans oi some hardy roast-chestnut 
peddJers, the warmth oi the Happy New Year must have been con- 
£ned to the homes oi the City oi Homes. 

Along Market and Broad streets a number oi the curious had 
congregated to see the great new clock in City Hall tower lighted 
ior the Erst time. Even among these, muBers were more popular 
than clackers, ior the weather assisted the cause oi civic decorum. 
A stinging sleet coated the piles oi snow irom the nine-inch fall of 



THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 273 

three days ago, and the watchers waited in doorways. Cabbies 
reined their horses as though they would hold them up on the 
slippery tooting by tense hands on the lines. One lone tin horn 
blatted in the wet air from a streetcar window. Huddled in a door- 
way near where this reporter stood was a Salvation Army band; it 
was hard to believe that here on South Broad Street had stood the 
Court of Honor, the center of the Jubilee no Philadelphian ever 
will forget. 

A few minutes before midnight the dials of the clock under 
Billy Penn's iron feet Bashed through the downfall. The freezing 
rain stopped the hands on the north face of the tower, but the other 
three mechanisms worked welJ. The Salvation Army band leader 
warned his musicians to be alert and warmed the mouthpiece of 
his cornet under his arm as he watched the clock. Two sports 
opened a window in the Hotel Bellevue and offered the band a con- 
sideration to play ''Hot Time in the Old Town,'' but the man with 
the cornet muttered something which sounded like,'' There's a hot- 
ter time a-coming, my brothers." 

The hands of the big clock closed, shearing off the old year. The 
band leaders horn bobbed a downbeat. "O God, Our Help in Ages 
Past" the frostbitten lips and Engers played, and so the year of Our 
Lord, Eighteen Hundred and Ninetynine, came to Broad and Wal- 
nut streets. 

Warren slumped back in his chair and looked at Seth Thomas's 
pendulum flirting by the sunburst in the glass. 

''Eighteen ninetynine," he whispered to himself and to Seth. 

. . . Clocks and heartbeats made time audible, that was all. 
Time was something else again, something which fell just short 
of infinity. And calendars were merely devices to compute com- 
pound interest. . . . 

He dropped his copy into the basket on the city editor's desk and 
paused, yawning. Somebody had given Picklepuss a Christmas gift 
of Robert Browning's poems which he had forgotten to take home 
or to lose. Warren picked up the book and leafed through it, too 
tired to remain standing, too idly distracted to sit down, yet post- 
poning the detestable necessity of going home when Susan would 
not be there. 



274 THE YEAR OF THE SPANIARD 

And so, standing, he read Rahbi Ben Ezra, for the first time. 
''The best is yet to he . . . ioi which the £ist was made." 

When he put the book down he tore a sheet of notepaper from 
a pad, wrote on it slowly and with still intervals when he merely 
stared at the pencil. Then he tucked what he had written into the 
book at the page which had held him and went home in the cold. 
The note said: 

This looks like a good hook. 

There never was nor will be such a time as The Good Old Days. 
''The best is yet tobe . . , ioi which the £ist was made" this guy 
saySy and that's light, by God. 

The iellow who yearns for auJd lang syne is a poop whom the 
past has bankrupted, and for whom the present holds nothing but 
fears. 

The future? . . . "Our times are in his hand Who saith 'A 
whole I planned ... see all, nor be afiaidl' " 

How about letting me have this book beioie it gets any more 
beei lings? 



Date Due 



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The year of the Spaniard, main 
813.5C354yC.2 



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